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Hants off to Finals Day after winning t20 thriller
MICHAEL Carberry must wish he could play Lancashire very week.
This season’s leading t20 run scorer followed his unbeaten 150 against Lancashire in May with his first century in the shortest format as Hampshire won a thrilling quarter-final by just ONE run to secure their place at Finals Day for a fourth successive season.
Carberry ended his latest epic by scrambling two off the last ball of the innings to join Michael Lumb and Jimmy Adams as Hampshire’s third t20 centurion, laying the cornerstone as the Royals amassed 202-3 after losing the toss. Lancashire had never conceded so many in a t20 match but were sensational in reply.
Gareth Cross (32 from 17 balls) and Steven Croft (43 from 29) shared an unbroken 68 from the last six overs before failing to score the four they needed from the final ball of a match that gave the 7,621 crowd full value.
They have Carberry and James Vince to thank for having a day out at Edgbaston to look forward to a week on Saturday.
After sharing 110 during the opening ten overs with Vince, who also excoriated the Lancashire attack with a two-a-ball 60 (nine fours, one six), Carberry made inexorable progress to his 66-ball 100 (11 fours, three sixes).
Vince got Hampshire off to the perfect start with two fours from the first three balls of the night, cover driving in typically immaculate fashion before cutting Steven Croft’s off-spin to the fence.
After a tidy Glen Chapple over, Carberry also began well, hitting three of Mitchell McClenaghan’s first four balls for four; whipped behind square, square driven and cover driven before Vince carved another boundary through the offside.
Chapple, Lancashire’s only survivor from their t20 quarter final win at the Ageas Bowl in 2004, was pulled for a one-bounce four by Carberry before Vince top edged a couple of pulls against the veteran.
But Vince was back to his imperious best against McClenaghan, on driving four more before swatting six via the fingernails of Stephen Moore at deep square leg.
Then he showed his deft touch, late cutting the Kiwi for four past Kabir Ali.
McClenaghan was a key player in Lancashire's march to the last eight, but he conceded 34 from his first two overs before Chapple went for 20 off the last over of the six-over powerplay, which yielded a colossal 72.
Vince pulled Chapple for four more, then came Carberry’s piece de resistance; a pulled maximum followed by a violently cut four and another through point.
Simon Kerrigan’s career-best first-class haul of 9-51 against Hampshire at Liverpool two years ago effectively relegated the county in the LV County Championship, but he hardly threatened on a perfectly flat t20 surface.
After Carberry survived a stumping appeal in Kerrigan’s opening over, Vince reached his fifty from 25 balls before pulling and driving successive boundaries in the slow left-armer’s second over – only to fire a full toss to McClenaghan on the mid-wicket boundary as Hampshire reached 110-1 at halfway.
Carberry was relentless, reaching fifty from 31 balls, while Jimmy Adams - the only Hampshire player to score two t20 centuries - was the perfect foil, flooring umpire Neil Mallender with a full blooded drive during his 17-ball 25.
Hampshire were 119-1 when Kabir Ali, the Royals' YB40 final hero at Lord’s in September, came on to bowl the 12th over.
Carberry showed no mercy, lofting a gargantuan straight six before pulling another four off the front foot. Then he did the same from successive Kerrigan deliveries as the carnage continued.
Adams eventually missed a straight one, but after one-bouncing a driven four against Croft, Carberry went past his previous highest T20 score (90 at home to Middlesex in 2006) with a single as Lancashire tightened up during the last three overs.
Sean Ervine (six) lofted Kabir to deep extra in the penultimate over but Carberry closed in on his ton by straight driving Kabir for four more.
After Hampshire had reached 200 for the first time in three years, Carberry still had the energy to sprint two off the last ball of the innings before holding both arms aloft in front of a packed pavilion including Shane Warne, one of the biggest influences on his career.
Lancashire nearly produced one of the greatest comebacks in t20 history.
They were restricted to 50-1 from their powerplay, Tom Smith pulling Dimi Mascarenhas for two sixes, before holing out to the man-of-the-match against Tanvir, the Pakistan international having been recalled at David Griffiths’ expense.
But Karl Brown and Stephen Moore put on 82 in the eight overs and Lancashire continued to test Hampshire’s mettle when Danny Briggs bowled Brown and then former teammate Simon Katich with successive balls in the 12th over.
Despite the unavailability of Ashwell Prince, like Carberry an Ageas Bowl centurion in May, Lancashire remained in contention, even after Dawson caught and bowled dangerman Moore (44) following a leading edge.
Croft and Gareth Cross maintained the rate and when the latter drove six from the last ball of the penultimate over, a Wood full toss, Lancashire only required 17 from the final six balls.
Step forward Tanvir. The next delivery, a no-balled full toss, reduced the requirement to 14 and only seven were needed from the last three balls when Croft cover-drove four more. A single to long-on meant Cross was on strike with six needed from two.
He scrambled a yorker for two via the non-striker’s stumps and another well-directed Tanvir delivery denied Lancashire the four they needed from the final ball.
Roll on Edgbaston, where Hampshire will face either Surrey, Northants or the winners of Thursday's quarter-final between Essex and Notts in the last four.
Reaction in tomorrow's Daily Echo
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