Classy Carberry takes centre stage after England omission

Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry Picture: Dave Vokes/ LMI Photography
Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry Picture: Dave Vokes/ LMI Photography
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

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Michael Carberry admitted his hurt after being dropped from the England Test squad but proved his quality for Hampshire with a fine display last night.

His impressive knock of 73 from 58 balls ensured the home side had enough runs to beat Kent at the Ageas Bowl.

That made it four wins in a row for Hampshire in the Natwest T20 Blast.

It also helped ease the pain for Carberry after he was not selected in the Test squad for the first match against Sri Lanka.

That means he may also miss out on the chance to play a home Test match at the Ageas Bowl in July.

Carberry said: ‘I felt pretty gutted to be honest.

‘I have taken a few knocks over my time and my career – particularly where England is concerned.

‘I was obviously bitterly disappointed because I felt I had a real good chance of continuing to play Test cricket and to play a home Test match as well.

‘But it is what it is. The decision has been made and I have to accept it and try to move on, try to get some runs and make Hampshire my focus now.’

Carberry is unsure whether he will be given another chance to perform for his country at Test level.

But he certainly demonstrated his quality with a powerful batting display last night.

After taking his time to get going and leaving the big hitting to Jimmy Adams, Carberry soon began to look relaxed.

He was picking his spots around the ground, blasting eight fours and two sixes in his 73 off 58 balls.

Combined with a rapid 47 off 26 balls from Adams, it proved enough to continue Hampshire’s formidable form in the competition.

Kent were unable to meet the challenge of firing 172 for victory.

Instead they fell well short, strangled by some tight Hampshire bowling.

Carberry felt it was always going to be difficult for them to chase down the total.

But he was wary, with the likes of Rob Key and Darren Stevens in the Kent batting ranks.

Key did his best with a heroic 89 not out off 63 balls but Hampshire’s quality bowlers gained control and saw the game out.

Carberry said: ‘I think it is one of those where chasing 170 is always going to be a stiff chase.

‘We maybe felt it was possibly a few runs short – maybe you would want 180 but we lost James Vince early.

‘Someone obviously had to play very well for Kent but having said that it was a very, very good wicket.

‘So, as proven, it takes someone like Keysie to get in and Stevo, as we know is a dangerous player towards the end of the innings, then it could have gone the other way.’

It was Danny Briggs who led the way with the ball for Hampshire.

He picked up three wickets for just 28 runs from his four overs.

Chris Wood, Kyle Abbott and Will Smith in particular also kept things tight, putting the pressure on the visitors and not allowing them to up the speed of the chase.

Carberry added: ‘Credit goes to our bowlers and the way we fielded.

‘All the bowlers were exceptional. We bowled to our plans and made it hard for them.

‘We made it very tough for Kent to build any momentum.

‘As well as Keysie played, he obviously played fantastically well, it highlights how good our bowlers were to stop him winning the game.’