Middlesex lie low after Crane, Carberry impose crushing defeat
Hampshire 189 for 8 (Carberry 77, Roland-Jones 4-39) beat Middlesex 160 for 7 (Southee 64*, Crane 3-15) by 29 runs
Middlesex were still closed away in the dressing room, refusing requests for interviews, more than a hour after a spectacular collapse against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl consigned them to a 29-run defeat in the NatWest Blast.
Even that was something of a release for Middlesex, who found themselves 74 for 7 in the 13th over before Tim Southee hammered five sixes in his 64 off 32 balls to narrow the margin.
Hampshire were still comfortable winners, with young leg-spinner Mason Crane taking 3 for 15 off four overs and Reece Topley, Gareth Berg and Kyle Abbott all grabbing a wicket a piece.
Crane said: ""Three good performances so far and everyone has contributed in all of them. It hasn't been the same players in every game and that shows we have a strong team. The crowd were amazing. I've never seen it that full for a Hampshire game."
Hampshire continued their winning start thanks to a Man-of-the-Match performance by Michael Carberry, who smashed 77 off 45 balls and followed it up with two catches.
The former England opener showed he is still capable of some devastating power hitting at the age of 36, while captain James Vince played some classy shots in his brief 34 to get his side on the front foot from the off.
Vince won the toss and opted to bat first in his side's first home game of the season, backing up his decision with six classy fours and a six in his quickfire 34 off 15, before skying one from Toby Roland-Jones high into the air only to be caught by Southee at square leg.
Rilee Roussow and Carberry put on a measured 48-run partnership, ensuring the scoreboard ticked over, but the South African soon followed his captain back to the dressing room after clubbing a flat catch to James Franklin at long-on off the bowling of Nathan Sowter.
Carberry followed up his 41 not out against Sussex on Wednesday night with a magnificent batting display in front of the Ageas Bowl crowd, placing a delicate shot through gully to reach his 50 off 32 balls. And the 36-year-old wasted no time in following that up with two sixes straight back down the ground and into jubilant crowd.
A tough evening for the Middlesex bowlers showed no sign of easing up, as Aussie George Bailey smacked 28 off 19 balls, with a six and three fours, but Roland-Jones cut his innings short as it began to reach full flow having him caught at long-on by Dawid Malan.
Shahid Afridi's batting struggles continued, the 37-year-old failing to add anything to a tally of five runs in this year's Blast competition when he was caught in the deep by Malan trying to power Roland-Jones for six.
After looking as if they would set Middlesex a score of over 200 to win, the steady fall of wickets, including that of Carberry in the final over, bowled by Franklin, Hampshire managed 189 for 8.
Roland-Jones, released by England from the Test squad, ended the pick of Middlesex's bowlers after taking 4 for 39 off his four overs, while Franklin took three wickets in the last over of the innings to end with 3 for 19 off two overs.
Hampshire continued as they started, Abbott sending Paul Stirling packing for just six runs and Topley following up with the wicket of dangerman Brendon McCullum, thanks to a stunning acrobatic catch from Rossouw at midwicket. England captain Eoin Morgan put up some resistance, making 23 off 22, before wicketkeeper John Simpson and New Zealander Southee came together in an eighth-wicket stand of 86 to try and salvage the game.
Southee reached a half-century off 28 balls, while Simpson made 37 off 34 as Middlesex fell 29 runs short.