Hampshire v Sussex, NatWest T20, Ageas Bowl July 18, 2014

Wright ton in vain as Hampshire qualify

Ivo Tennant at the Ageas Bowl

Hampshire 177 for 3 (Carberry 87*) beat Sussex 171 for 8 (Wright 116*)

In order to try to regain his England place at a time of his cricketing life when the competition is from ever-younger batsmen, Michael Carberry has continued to engage the considerable services of Graham Gooch, whose two years as full-time England batting coach came to an end in the spring. At Colchester earlier this week, the pair were in animated conversation. It did help that there was no play on the first day of the match.

Carberry, according to the estimable Gooch, is "a very good player". Such plaudits are not dispensed lightly. And not one spectator who saw his superlative unbeaten 87 that propelled Hampshire into the quarter-finals of the NatWest Twenty20 Blast, despite an unbeaten century by Luke Wright, would have disagreed. This was his highest score of the season in this competition, struck off 63 balls and including five fours and five sixes. These were not slogs, not even in the last over.

The feature of his innings was the picked up six over midwicket, not least from Steve Magoffin, in the final over. Before that, he had lifted the same opening bowler, who running down the slope on his home patch at Hove can be nigh unplayable, straight back for another six , and dealt with Chris Liddle and Steffan Piolet with much the same disdain. Carberry added 111 with Jimmy Adams after the early loss of James Vince, who drove Lewis Hatchett to cover, and Glenn Maxwell, taken at deep square leg.

Hampshire lost their last two matches in this competition and needed a victory here to ensure that they would progress to the knockout stages. Carberry, striking Liddle for six over long-on when he returned at what, for the time being, is still called the Northern End, reached a half century off 35 balls. Adams went for 52 off 34 balls, held at short fine leg attempting to pull Chris Nash's off spin, but Sean Ervine merrily pulled Hatchett for six, straight drove a further six and hammered a four over extra cover. His bowling was less impressive: 18 coming off his first over.

This was when Wright was in full flow. His partnership with Chris Nash resulted in 69 off the first six overs of the Sussex innings. They are a mightily difficult opening pair to bowl at, although as soon as Danny Briggs was in Hampshire's attack, it was a different picture. He bowled Nash, who was rocking back on his stumps, and Craig Cachopa was held on the cover boundary, swiftly followed by Ashar Zaidi being bowled by Will Smith.

Matt Machan followed, held trying to hit straight, and the dependable Briggs took a third wicket when he had Ben Brown leg before for a duck, and then a fourth, that of Will Beer, nicely caught at long on by Maxwell. By now, of course, it was all too apparent that if Wright could find someone to stay with him, Sussex would win. And that his dismissal or a shortage of decent partners would presage a Hampshire victory. Dropped by Chris Wood on 85 at deep midwicket, he swung Briggs for six and reached a notable century, but 17 off the last over proved beyond even him. Missed once more, at long off, he finished unbeaten on 116 off 66 balls with 19 fours and four sixes. Other than Nash, no-one else reached double figures.

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  • Paulo on July 19, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    @Jason Hutchinson I assume Maxwell is available. But I'd consider dropping him. Unfortunately we lost Shah to the CPL, but perhaps a young batsman like Terry, or a bowler like Rimmington could come in.

    I think Abbott will return near the end of the season. He's currently carrying drinks for South Africa (given the way he played for us in both formats they'd be mad not to play him)

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Maxwell has not delivered at all during the blast. Any idea, CnC whether he is available for the quarters? If not, I'd be looking at whether a replacement could be found. Is Abbott unavailable for the rest of the Summer?

    Have to disagree about Briggs. I am not sure he is yet able to step up to international class. Tredwell is about as good as this country can muster at the moment, but I wouldn't hesitate to include the combative Batty if the need requires!

  • Paulo on July 19, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Therefore I'd probably go with: 1.Hales 2.Roy 3.Taylor 4.Morgan 5.Buttler 6.Bopara 7.Willey 8.Jordan 9.Tredwell 10.Briggs 11.Gurney with Trego as a reserve batsmen (awesome batsmen and fielder but I don't rate his bowling) and any seamer performing well in the Blast as a reserve bowler.

  • Paulo on July 19, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    I feel conned slightly that the ECB have decided to play only 14 games instead of 16 in the Blast. I'm missing out on the visit of Surrey. I'd have loved to have seen KP return again, especially against the leftarm spin twins of Briggs and Dawson. Though considering how they destroyed us at.the Oval maybe it's for the best.

    It is unfair though that each team will not play against 2 teams. Some teams will miss out playing against top teams like Glamorgan, Essex and Surrey whereas others will miss out against weaker teams like Middlesex and Gloucestershire. This could be a crucial difference in such a tight group. Poor planning ECB.

  • Paulo on July 19, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Wright and Carberry both scored runs today but neither have had great tournaments. There's plenty of competition for the T20I top order. Lumb and Kieswetter are injured, but there's Carberry, Wright, Roy, Vince, Trego, Willey as well.

    Personally I'd go with Hales and Roy. Taylor hasn't had the season he'd have wanted but he's still one of the best young batsmen in the country and has played some good T20 innings this year. Morgan at 4 as captain and Buttler 5. Bopara has had an excellent tournament and has finished off many games for Essex, confirming his batting improvement. He was also England's best white-ball bowler in winter. Willey was last year's player of the tournament and has scored some runs this year, though his injury limits his bowling. Jordan at 8 is a useful cricketer. Tredwell is obvious. Gurney did well vs Sri Lanka. Then the last place should go to a spinner. Briggs, Parry were discarded too early in my opinion. Briggs has impressed me this Blast, so I'd go with him

  • Paulo on July 19, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    Finally. A win.

    Carberry has been painful to watch for most of this Blast so it was nice to see his come good. However if a change player faces more than half the balls in the innings and the side finishes 3 down, he really ought to score a hundred.

    Ervine gave the innings it's well needed impetus. Adams looked excellent again.

    Sending in Maxwell at 3 confused me. He played fantastically at 5/6 2 years ago and has beer terrible at 4 this year, so we decide to send him in at 3 ahead of our player of the tournament and one of the best T20 batsmen in the country.

    Briggs has been excellent this tournament and he won the game tonight. All of our spin trio were excellent. I await the customary docked points that comes when spinners bowl well.

    Wright was excellent and I agree with @Jason Hutchinson that all he needed was a bit more support.

    But at least we've qualified. It's a nice relief. Now take this form to the championship.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    Top innings by Luke Wright. Almost beat us. If he had had support from another batter than Nash it would have been Sussex's game.

    Very lucky to reach the quarters!

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