Carberry blasts back in time for vital clash

Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Michael Carberry believes his return to form in the Natwest Blast T20 can act as a catalyst for himself and Hampshire in their vital County Championship clash at Worcestershire.

The powerful left-hander struck a fine 70 in the 23-run defeat to Glamorgan on Friday night – the club’s fifth straight defeat in all competitions.

I will take some confidence into the game at Worcester.

Michael Carberry

The division one bottom club return to the four-day format today and are desperate for a change of fortune as they face the team just above them.

Hampshire are already in the relegation dogfight but their hopes of avoiding the drop could be given a huge boost if they can win at New Road.

And while they seem to be short of confidence, Carberry looked like he was back in the groove on Friday.

However, the 34-year-old has been lacking runs in the Championship – like most of his team-mates – with a run of low scores in recent games.

He has hit five half-centuries in 17 innings so far with a top score of 97 at Yorkshire back in May – way down on his usual hefty contributions in the Championship.

In his most recent eight innings, he has not gone beyond the 28 he scored against Somerset last month.

But the former England man felt some of his trademark skills returning and is keen to transfer it to the red ball game.

Carberry said: ‘It’s about drawing on that experience and going back to the basics of what makes me play well.

‘I went back to that against Glamorgan and then when I felt the time was right, I started to open the shoulders.

‘Playing in the four-day game is not massively different.

‘You can obviously take more time in a four-day game but it’s nice that the rhythm was there and the balance was there. Things were working nicely.

‘It’s not always been there and it’s been a little bit of a struggle.

‘But I will take some confidence into the game at Worcester.’

Carberry is still the club’s leading run-scorer this season with 568 and his statistics make for far better reading than some of his team-mates.

James Vince is perhaps the biggest worry with 275 runs at an average of just 18.33 so far this term, but skipper Jimmy Adams (420 at an average of 28) is also in a rough patch of form.

Carberry said: ‘You are only one innings away from being back in form.

‘All facets of our cricket this season, across all formats, we just haven’t collectively put it together. Guys have shown glimpses of form but nobody is really nailing those big hundreds or those big performances with the ball.

‘When you put all that in the mix, you are going to lose games.’

And Carberry knows how much of a bearing the next four days could have on the rest of the season.

He said: ‘Every game for us is huge.

‘We need to try to build some confidence in the team and we need to try to get ourselves out of that bottom three.’