Middlesex suffer fourth Twenty20 defeat in a row after Hampshire pair hit century partnership at Lord’s
A century stand between Michael Carberry and Owais Shah sentenced Middlesex to their fourth straight NatWest T20 Blast defeat against Hampshire at Lord’s.
Former England batsman Carberry batted right through the innings for 72, with Shah hitting 64 to punish his former county as Hampshire racked up 199-9 after winning the toss.
Middlesex – whose chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of this year’s tournament now look remote – were unable to match that, falling 21 runs short although Paul Stirling clubbed an entertaining 54.
James Vince got the visitors’ innings off to a breezy start with 14 off 11 balls, only to lose his wicket to former Hampshire seamer Kyle Abbott’s first delivery.
Jimmy Adams (8) was leg before at 27-2, attempting to reverse sweep Ollie Rayner, but Carberry and Shah steadied the ship and put together a third-wicket partnership of 118.
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Shah started to accelerate with seven overs remaining and, after being caught at long-off from a James Harris no-ball, overtook his partner to reach his half-century.
Their stand finally came to an end in bizarre fashion when Shah trod on his wicket while dispatching Abbott for six, but his replacement, Sean Ervine, clobbered 20 from just seven balls.
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Ervine and Adam Wheater (6) both perished before the innings came to a close, but Carberry carried his bat for an undefeated 72 as Hampshire posted 199-9.
Middlesex’s response began in dreadful fashion, with Nick Compton (0) giving Will Smith a return catch with his third ball and Nick Gubbins (5) stopped by one that kept low from Jackson Bird in the next over.
In dire straits at 9-2, the Seaxes were revitalised by a bubbly partnership of 88 between Stirling and Simpson, with the Irishman taking 24 off one Chris Wood over and passing his half-century in 24 balls.
But Simpson, who had played well for 35, heaved Smith to long-on and, in the next over, Stirling skied a ball that eventually came to rest in the hands of bowler Yasir Arafat to leave Middlesex 107-4.
Andy Balbirnie (3) and Neil Dexter (2) did not last long and, although stand-in captain James Franklin struck a gutsy 35 from 24 balls before falling to a questionable leg before decision, Middlesex eventually closed on 178-9.