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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai

Preview: Qualifier 3 – Auckland Aces v Hampshire

Kiwi champs take on England’s top T20 team

What

Hampshire, champions of the English domestic Twenty20 competition, take on the Auckland Aces in the third Qualifier of the Karbonn CLT20 2012. Hampshire, who bounced back after losing their first two matches to win the Friends Life T20 title, will be hoping to add to their silverware by progressing to the main draw of the CLT20 and winning the tournament.

For the Auckland Aces, this will be one final opportunity to push for a place in the main draw of the tournament. They opened their Karbonn CLT20 qualifiers with a clash against the Sialkot Stallions.

When

Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 1:30 p.m. (5:00 p.m. IST)

Where

Centurion Park, Centurion

The Protagonists

That Hampshire won the Friends Life T20 competition without too many stars in their line-up speaks volumes about how all the individuals came to the party. In Dimitri Mascarenhas, the team has one of the most experienced cricketers in the T20 format; the 34-year-old was the leading wicket-taker for Hampshire in the Friends Life T20, and the team will expect a similar performance from him in the CLT20. There will also be expectations of the dangerous Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi to fire with bat and ball. Though he wasn’t in great touch with the bat in the 2012 ICC World T20, the Auckland Aces will be well aware that Afridi can single-handedly turn any match on its head.

The Auckland Aces will look to their international stars to deliver the goods for them. In Martin Guptill, they have a very experienced and dangerous opening batsman, and one who has been in good nick too. Given the conditions they are likely to encounter in South Africa, Kyle Mills and Chris Martin will have a huge role to play on the bowling front. In Azhar Mahmood, the Auckland Aces have a handy all-round performer too. The 37-year-old is a very dangerous customer towards the end and is very deceptive with the ball.

Previous Meetings

This match will be the first time these two teams will be meeting in a Twenty20 match.

Trivia

Hampshire have been involved in four ties in Twenty20 cricket.

The Auckland Aces line-up has three players who are more than 37 years old.

What next?

The Auckland Aces complete their fixtures in the Karbonn CLT20 2012 qualifiers and will await results from the remaining matches to ascertain if they progress to the main draw of the tournament. Hampshire meanwhile will clash against the Sialkot Stallions in the final fixture of the qualifying stage on October 11.

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