Neil McKenzie paid tribute to Michael Carberry’s return to fitness and form after the duo served up a record-breaking partnership in Hants’ County Championship draw with Yorkshire.
The Hampshire batsmen shared a mammoth third-wicket stand of 523 runs as Carberry (300 not out) and McKenzie (237) hit the highest partnership in Hampshire’s history and also broke into the top-10 on the all-time list.
But after Carberry’s battle with a blood clot on the lung that threatened his career, McKenzie believes it was a a fitting achievement and was delighted to play his part.
McKenzie said: ‘With his condition he kept on coming down and batting with the machine.
‘He is one of the hardest workers on his game I have ever known. To achieve what he’s done is magnificent.
‘You don’t get involved in these kinds of partnerships too often.
‘So to be involved with one with Michael Carberry, after what he’s been through, is really special.’
The pair got together at 59 for two on day three of the draw with Yorkshire and McKenzie’s dismissal finally saw that stand broken on the final day.
But the former South Africa Test batsman admitted he’d had a few stern words from the other end as they closed in on the 500 partnership.
He smiled: ‘I think we were on 497 and only needed three to get to 500.
‘I don’t know where it came from but I played some kind of a flick, nearly got out and he wasn’t too happy with me!
‘But we complemented each other really well.
‘You never know about records. We were just batting for the team, batting for ourselves and batting for one another.
‘It wasn’t about other partnerships – it was about our partnership.’
The partnership was the highlight of largely drab four-day encounter at The Rose Bowl.
The pair posted Hants’ highest ever partnership, eclipsing the 411 hit by Robert Poore and Teddy Wynyard in 1899.
While the world record highest ever partnership of 624 between Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara for Sri Lanka looked to be under threat at one stage. As it is, it’s the ninth highest partnership in history.
As Carberry brought up his 300, the declaration arrived at 599 for three, while Yorkshire made it through to the early close at 40 without loss.