Hampshire v Kent, NatWest Blast, Ageas Bowl June 5, 2014

Carberry casts off England snub

Hampshire 171 for 7 (Carberry 73, Adams 47, Bollinger 3-19) beat Kent 149 for 4 (Key 89*, Briggs 3-28)by 22 runs

Indignation is often a tonic and on the day when his international career all but evaporated into the early summer sunshine, Michael Carberry channelled such vexation into clubbing a half-century that provided the footing for Hampshire's third successive NatWest T20 Blast victory.

Carberry was one of the few players to exhibit any sort of defiance during a chastening winter, producing some stubborn displays at the top of the order, but after a lean start to the domestic season he was overlooked by England's new management regime for the first Test of the summer.

In one-day cricket, his mood is strikingly more aggressive. He bludgeoned and swatted Kent's bowlers with typical disdain and in such mood Hampshire will be appreciative for his additional availability.

They have been the standard-bearers in the domestic Twenty20 competitions - reaching five successive Finals Days, emerging triumphant in two - and they used all their nous to foil the visitors' admirable chase, spearheaded by Rob Key's unbeaten 89.

Key, Kent's captain, anchored the innings, carrying his bat in the process, but received little support as the weight of runs on the board proved too much. That Hampshire were able to defend what Key deemed a "gettable score" was ultimately down to their bowling with the left-arm spin of Danny Briggs, who took three wickets, again to the fore, but it was Carberry who got them there in the first place.

As others came and went, his typically powerful blows provided the backbone of a disjointed innings. Carberry's endeavours on the county circuit originally attracted the selectors rather late in the day and this was another striking contribution. He started tentatively - dealing in singles during the powerplay overs as Jimmy Adams assumed the role of aggressor - but soon hit his straps, slashing Mitchell Claydon through backward point for his first boundary of ten.

He was eventually bowled for 73 from 58 balls by Doug Bollinger, whose figures of 3 for 19 deserved to keep Hampshire in check

While Carberry will take the plaudits, Adams' exploits furnished Hampshire's innings with momentum after skipper James Vince elected to bat first. Adams is somewhat unorthodox, possessing an almost baseball-like stanc, but he was typically wristy in his approach as he worked the ball around the large outfield.

His ability to crash the ball to the ropes was particularly impressive as he took Darren Stevens for three successive boundaries before depositing the offspin of Adam Riley into the members. His departure in the tenth over, for a brilliantly composed 47 off just 26 balls, allowed Carberry to take centre stage.

He had all the swagger and panache that underpinned his rise into the England set-up as he thrashed James Tredwell and then Stevens through cover and down the ground respectively in stand-and-deliver fashion. No bowler was exempt; Doug Bollinger was heaved over square-leg for a maximum but it was the Australian who had the last laugh though, uprooting Carberry's middle stump.

A couple of boundaries from Chris Wood and Will Smith lifted Hants but it was their work with the ball that proved decisive. Key apart, Kent struggled to get on top of the opposition as Vince juggled his bowling options to great effect.

Key and Sam Northeast put on 89 in Kent's reply but Notheast was caught at gully for 35 just as he threatened to accelerate and Darren Stevens, dropped by Ervine in the deep with his first ball, failed to make the most of his life as Briggs cleaned him up with his second.

Hampshire's lead at the top of the South Group is now four points and it would take a brave punter to overlook them.

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  • Paulo on June 6, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    @Hammond7249 With our top 5 plus Wheater over Bates, do we really need the extra batting of Ervine. No doubt he's been a great county servant, but he's been very hit and miss the last 2 years. Bring in Coles.

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    A good game to watch on TV, Hampshire's skills were to the fore. Impressed with Chris Wood, Danny Briggs in particular. Question for Hampshire really - with the ticket prices so high and the ground barely a quarter full, is £25 excessive? Would more spectators show up if the walk-up price was in the £10 - £15 range?

  • Mari on June 6, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Sean Ervine is Hampshire's leading run scorer in t20s, so please stop slagging him off, CodandChips! His bowling has always been up and down so why the complaints now?

    Hampshire are top of 2 tables so why bothering criticising selections? It's obviously working. Just enjoy it!

  • Paulo on June 6, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    @Floodedstatue agree that when Dawson comes back he should come in for Smith. He is a better bowler and batsman, though Smith has bowled well this tournament so far.

    Agree Briggs harshly treated. Bowled excellently on ODI debut. In his 6 T20Is generally the whole team got taken apart so it's cruel to single him out. Was at the game so don't know what the sky commentators said. Did they mention any other possible England players, such as Carberry, Vince or Adams? Personally I'm very glad that we have no England players, whereas Worcestershire have lost Moeen Ali.

    Agree "formidable lineup". With Vince, Carberry, Adams, Shah and Maxwell, we arguably have the best top 5 in the Blast. Better than Notts imo.

  • Ian on June 6, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Agree, yesterday's side looked a little unbalanced. Coles in place of Ervine seems sound, and Dawson (when fit) to return in place of Smith would leave us with a formidable lineup.

    Ervine frustrated with his bowling yesterday 1 over in particular he bowled a couple of great yorkers and followed it up with 2 pathetic half trackers that Key swatted away for 6 & 4.

    I'm glad the Sky commentators picked up on the unfair treatment of Briggs by the England selectors. I still maintain he should be in the T20/ODI sides as the spin option as he is so good under pressure he can be utilised at any point in a game, and at 23 he will only improve.

  • Paulo on June 6, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Another good win.

    Good to see Carberry bat well. And Adams again, like last match, played a positive cameo that ignited the innings after the loss of an early wicket and was again reminiscent of the Jimmy Adams from 2009-2011.

    The whole 3 bowlers thing doesn't convince me. Smith has bowled well this year but is still a part timer. Abbott, Briggs and Wood aren't always going to bowl like this (though Danny has had an outstanding tournament). I wonder if Ervine should come out for Coles? H Coles is a much better bowler and can hit a long ball, while Ervine is often too expensive with the ball, hasn't been great with the bat, and is an untidy fielder.

    Wheater kept better yesterday but he's still no Bates.

    3 announcers in 3 games and they each are better than the previous. Though I fear yesterday's was a property of sky.

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