Michael Carberry was the subject of rich praise from Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams – despite missing out on a deserved century in a thrilling YB40 win over Durham.
The powerful left-hander has looked out of sorts at times this season.
But he was back to his brilliant best with a fluent 96 as he was eventually dismissed with the scores level.
Liam Dawson (37 not out) then struck the winning run moments later.
It capped a tremendous knock to drag the Royals to victory as they chased down 242 from a rain-reduced 36 overs.
Carberry was unfortunate to miss out on three figures.
But Adams insists he could still take huge pride from his efforts.
Adams, who himself blasted 67, said: ‘We knew that if Carbs or myself were there at the end, we would probably win the game.
‘But it was a great knock from him.
‘I starved him of the strike a bit and he didn’t get much towards the end either with Liam going so well.
‘Carbs deserved to get a hundred probably but he did everything but.
‘It was a fantastic effort from him.
‘Hopefully that will give him plenty of confidence going into a fair bit of cricket over the coming weeks.
‘It’s always nice to get a hundred but we won the game and he played really well.
‘Milestones are nice and it’s a shame he didn’t get it.
‘But he can take a lot from that performance.
‘He’s a very important player for us at the top of the order.
‘We’ve been lucky that in most games one of him or James Vince, if not both, have got us off to a good start and we’ve got a score from that.
‘It’s probably an important part of our cricket that someone in the top three or four does that to get us a good score.’
After a resounding defeat in their last YB40 outing at Surrey, Adams was aware he needed a response if his side are to retain the crown they won at Lord’s last September.
Durham’s Ben Stokes (87) played a brutal knock to get the Dynamos back into contention after some early wickets, while Will Smith (50) played his part.
Adams said: ‘I thought our guys bowled well and we were decent up front.
‘Durham posted a competitive target and Stokes played one heck of an innings.
‘But we made a good chase under pressure.
‘We tried to snatch one more wicket before the spinners came on because Stokes took the spinners apart – that was tough on those boys because they bowled pretty well.
‘But we felt it was about a par score, although we would have to play well to get it.
‘Fortunately, we did.
‘I’m not denying it was close and a bit twitchy but we did feel we had the power to come in and chase it down.
‘It got a little bit tight and if we’d lost another wicket seven or eight overs out, it would have been squeaky-bum time.
‘But Liam Dawson played a fantastic knock for us. It was great finishing from him.
‘I’m delighted for the guys and that will do us the power of good.
‘We’re delighted with that and it puts us in a good position going into the Lancashire game later this week.’