Carberry makes Middlesex pay in Natwest T20 Blast defeat
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Former England opener plays key role for Hampshire
Middlesex slumped to a 29-run defeat in their latest Natwest T20 Blast outing at Hampshire, who saw Michael Carberry smash 77 off 45 balls and take two catches in a man-of-the-match display.
The former England opener showed he is still capable of some devastating power hitting at the age of 36, while captain James Vince played some classy shots in his brief 34 to get his side on the front foot from the off.
Middlesex struggled to get themselves going in their chase, with bowler Tim Southee their top scorer as he made 64 runs off 32 balls, following a first-ball duck against Surrey on Thursday.
The home side cruised to an easy victory, with youngster Mason Crane taking 3-15 off four overs and Reece Topley, Gareth Berg and Kyle Abbott all grabbing a wicket apiece.
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Hampshire skipper Vince won the toss and opted to bat first in his side’s first home game of the season, backing up his decision with six classy fours and a six in his quick-fire 34 off 15, before skying one from Toby Roland-Jones high into the air only to be caught by Southee at square leg.
Rilee Roussow and Carberry put on a measured 48-run partnership, ensuring the scoreboard ticked over, but the South African soon followed his captain back to the clubhouse after clubbing a flat catch to James Franklin at long-on off the bowling of Aussie-born Neil Sowter.
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Carberry followed up his 41 not out against Sussex on Wednesday night with a magnificent batting display in front of the Ageas Bowl crowd, placing a delicate shot through gully to reach his 50 off 32 balls.
And the 36-year-old wasted no time in following that up with two sixes straight back down the ground and into jubilant crowd.
A tough evening for the Middlesex bowlers showed no sign of easing up, as Aussie George Bailey smacked 28 off 19 balls, with a six and three fours, but Roland-Jones cut his innings short as it began to reach full flow having him caught at long-on by Dawid Malan.
Shahid Afridi’s batting struggles continued, the 37-year-old failing to add anything to his five runs scored in this year’s Blast competition when he was caught in the deep by Malan trying to power Roland-Jones for six.
After looking as if they would set Middlesex a score of over 200 to win, the steady fall of wickets, including that of Carberry, who hit four fours and five sixes, in the final over as Franklin bowled him, Hampshire managed 189-8.
England star Roland-Jones ended the pick of Middlesex’s bowlers after taking 4-39 off his four overs, while Kiwi Franklin took three wickets in the last over of the innings to end with 3-19 off two overs.
Hampshire continued as they started, Abbott sending Paul Stirling packing for just six runs (7 balls) and Topley following up with the wicket of dangerman Brendon McCullum (10 runs, one four, one six, seven balls) thanks to a stunning acrobatic catch from Rossouw at mid-wicket.
England captain Eoin Morgan put up some resistance, making 23 off 22, before wicketkeeper John Simpson and New Zealander Southee came together in an eighth-wicket stand of 96 to try and salvage the game.
Southee reached a half century off 28 balls and hit three fours and five sixes in his cameo, while Simpson made 37 off 34 as Middlesex fell 29 runs short.