Carberry and Dawson lead Royals home

Liam Dawson. Picture: Neil Marshall

Liam Dawson. Picture: Neil Marshall

Reece Topley celebrates the wicket of Tim Bresnan for Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Neil Marshall

Things didn’t Ballance in Hampshire’s favour

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Liam Dawson played a fabulous late knock to claim a five-wicket win over Durham and ensure Hampshire are still well in the hunt to defend their 40-over title.

The Royals all-rounder is not renowned for his ability to clear the ropes.

He’s more often associated with quick singles and scampering extra runs.

But Dawson proved that timing and technique are more than a match for brute force and physical stature with an unbeaten 37 from 21 balls that included four fours and two sixes.

The platform was built by the resurgent Michael Carberry (96).

And Jimmy Adams (67) made a vital contribution – but the game was certainly in the balance before Dawson made his mark.

In truth, it should have been an easier victory in a game reduced to 36 overs per side.

Dimi Mascarenhas marked his return with the early wicket of Phil Mustard as Chris Wood (three for 37) and the fit-again David Griffiths (three for 42) also played a part in putting Durham in big trouble at 45 for four.

But Ben Stokes (87) took the Royals spinners to the cleaners while Will Smith (50) got the Dynamos up to a decent total of 241 for eight.

With Adams’ side quite adept at letting opponents off the hook when they have them where they want them, it appeared to be another lost opportunity.

At the midway point, the score looked some way past what it should have been.

But in reply, despite the early loss of James Vince, Carberry and Adams shared a partnership worth 133 runs and appeared to put the home side in command.

Carberry hit eight fours and two sixes in his 86-ball knock, while Adams needed 67 balls in an innings that included six fours and two sixes.

But the loss of the captain saw the innings lose momentum as the short-of-form George Bailey (13) and Sean Ervine (18) failed to fire and the home side appeared to be stumbling.

When Ervine was dismissed with five overs left, Hampshire still needed 40 runs to get over the line.

It looked like they would struggle to get them.

But after taking a few deliveries to get his eye in, Dawson then produced the kind of fireworks that are normally associated with his team-mates as he made the most of the powerplay.

Carberry was the anchor and in this kind of form, he looks like the kind of opponent most bowlers would want to avoid.

Dawson justifed the decision to come in ahead of a more renowned power-hitter in Mascarenhas to seal the win with five balls to spare.

It leaves Hampshire in good shape at the top of the table ahead of this week’s clash with Lancashire.

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