White unfazed as star batsman hobbles towards a big score

Michael Carberry battles through the pain barrier on his way to an unbeaten 73 for Hampshire  Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Carberry battles through the pain barrier on his way to an unbeaten 73 for Hampshire Picture: Neil Marshall
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Sam Northeast during the press conference at the Ageas Bowl on Friday. Picture: www.davevokes.photography

Northeast: I can realise my dreams with Hampshire

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Giles White has dismissed any fears over Michael Carberry’s fitness as Hampshire’s top batsman closed in on the county’s first century of the season.

The talented left-hander looked in superb touch on his way to 73 not out – despite batting with a runner – as Hampshire closed day two of their Championship clash with Leicestershire on 181 for four.

While Carberry also batted with a runner at Glamorgan last week after picking up a groin strain, this time it was cramp early in his innings that meant he was soon hobbling around and calling for your some younger legs to run between the wickets for him.

Although it’s a familiar problem for the 31-year-old – and is surely a worry considering Hampshire’s batting resources are already at breaking point – it’s an issue that has not reared its head for some considerable time.

And when you hit 13 fours and one six from 138 balls, you don’t need to run too many quick singles.

Hampshire manager White said: ‘He (Carberry) had a slight cramp problem so, hopefully, he will be alright.

‘He has had some cramps in the past but it hasn’t happened for the past year or so.

‘He had a problem with it a while back. But I don’t think he suffered with it at all last year and I suspect it’s nothing to worry about.

‘We’ve been looking after his groin injury and he’s been running from fine leg to fine leg but maybe that little jog between overs caught up with him.

‘He’s our best outfielder but we were looking after him and he hasn’t had any problems with the groin in this game.

‘The cramping is something completely different. But Carbs has the mindset to bat for long periods of time.

‘There aren’t too many hundreds going on in the country at the moment. But if Carbs gets himself in again, he’s got a good chance of getting one.

‘Hopefully he can build on his 73 overnight because he looked in great form.

‘I’m sure he will get over the cramping and will look to take his score into three figures if he can.’

While Carberry shone with the bat, Liam Dawson picked up five for 29 with the ball to give the home side the slight edge going into day three.

White said: ‘We’re in a good position but now we’ve got to make the most of it. Liam worked hard on his bowling over the winter. We’ve spoken about the impact he can have and he showed what he can do. He bowled really well.

‘We will look to get a lead but as long as there is something in the wicket, we will feel we are in the game.

‘We’re still 53 runs behind and wickets have fallen in clusters – we saw that in their innings.

‘If guys get in, they can get runs but there is always a potential ball that will get you out.

‘We’ve got to play well and make the most of it to build on where we are.’

While debutant Sean Terry failed to score in his first Championship outing, White insisted the youngster was not too downbeat and backed him to respond in a positive fashion.

He said: ‘He will get plenty of other opportunities. There is a good ball out there for you and if you get it early, you get it early – that’s batting.

‘He wasn’t too down. He will bounce back.’