Ruthless Hampshire back on track

Michael Carberry. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Michael Carberry. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
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Hampshire bounced back in style from last week’s Natwest T20 Blast loss to secure a 47-run win at Kent and fire themselves back on track for the quarter-finals.

As poor as they were at The Oval last week, James Vince’s side returned to familiar form as they posted a healthy 173 for nine and then turned the screw when Kent attempted to chase it down.

The batting didn’t quite fire once again at the top of the order as Vince, Michael Carberry (18), Jimmy Adams (15) and Glenn Maxwell (13) were all back in the hutch inside seven overs.

Considering the top three have been the backbone of their t20 success for much of the campaign, there were a few worried looks among the Hampshire contingent that the early loss of wickets could pave the way for another lowly total.

But Will Smith (37) and Sean Ervine (47) played intelligent knocks as they put on 69 runs in eight overs to get the innings back together and build a platform.

After Chris Wood and Kyle Abbott both fell without scoring in the 16th over, Matt Coles (29) added some late fireworks against his former club to push the score to what proved to be an unassailable target.

In stark contrast to last week, when Surrey raced away to a fine start, Hampshire’s bowlers were on the money from the first ball and then squeezed the life out of the Kent reply.

The whole unit turned in impressive displays with Wood the pick of the bunch, returning career best t20 figures of four for 24, deservedly wrapping up the Kent innings in the penultimate over as Adam Riley was bowled to complete the victory.

The left-armer also made the breakthrough at the top of the innings as Daniel Bell-Drummond departed in the second over.

At 60 for three in the 10th over, Kent were still in the hunt.

But the key wicket was that of Darren Stevens (23)) as Smith picked up his scalp thanks to a Michael Bates catch.

Kent then lost the plot and saw their final six wickets fall for just 12 runs as they eventually closed on 126 all out.

Abbott (two for 14) and Coles (two for 24) played their part in a disciplined bowling display but it was a much-improved team performance.

It also ended a good day for the club as Carberry signed a three-year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2017.