Hampshire served up a ruthless CB40 demolition job on old foes Somerset as Michael Carberry blasted a superb century at Taunton yesterday.
The left-hander made the Somerset bowlers pay as he cracked an unbeaten 103 – hammering a glorious straight six to win the game and reach his century – as the Royals cruised home to their target of 213 with more than 11 overs to spare.
While Carberry was the pick of the batsmen, it was the returning Dimi Mascarenhas – fresh from his stint at the Indian Premier League – who set the tone for the visitors with a miserly spell of bowling.
Taking the new ball – and bowling his eight overs straight through – the former England man picked up two for 17.
He accounted for both Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego with his tricky medium pace that is clearly still a useful weapon in limited-overs cricket.
With Hampshire in sharp mood in the field and serving up very few loose deliveries with the ball, Somerset’s usually aggressive batting line-up was restricted as their well-drilled visitors took command.
While home pair Nick Compton (81) and Jos Buttler (74) put on 121 runs for the fourth wicket, Hampshire turned the screw in the final few overs as the hosts struggled to 212 for nine.
But in reply – on a Taunton pitch that is usually a batsman’s paradise – Hampshire built on their efforts with the ball as Carberry and skipper Jimmy Adams started blazing away.
Adams helped himself to a fine 56 from 49 balls, striking seven fours and two enormous sixes.
After a 103-run platform had been established, Adams miscued another blast for the boundary to break the partnership – top-edging an attempted hook shot for an easy catch for Alex Barrow.
Having played the support role up until that point, Carberry then took charge with real class, flashing some fabulous strokes around the fast outfield.
Joined by James Vince, who made an eye-catching 44 not out himself, Carberry’s 83-ball knock included 14 fours and one six and was a masterclass in limited overs batting.
Played three, won three for Hampshire in this year’s CB40 competition is by no means sluggish and Carberry is a key factor.