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Carberry gunning for series win on home ground
7:00am Monday 16th September 2013 in Sport
Michael Carberry believes he completed only “half the job” with his maiden one-day international half-century which helped England level the NatWest Series against Australia.
Carberry combined with captain Eoin Morgan in a stand of 104 as England recovered, after Clint McKay’s hat-trick, to pull off a chase of 227 all out.
The three-wicket victory in Cardiff on Saturday owed even more perhaps to Jos Buttler's second consecutive ODI fifty.
But either way, opener Carberry's reward for his effort is the opportunity to push for a 2-1 series success in front of his home crowd at the Ageas Bowl this afternoon.
The Hampshire left-hander, whose sole Test match came against Bangladesh in Chittagong three-and-a-half years ago, had hoped to make his Twenty20 international debut in Southampton earlier this month.
England stuck with former Hampshire batsman Michael Lumb and Alex Hales for that match - but after a sticky start to his ODI career, 32-year-old Carberry will have his chance in his most familiar surroundings after all.
Carberry’s first three ODI innings had brought him just 15 runs.
After adding a crucial 63 in Wales, he said: “I was pleased I got myself in, still my first ODI series, and got a few runs in a winning cause.
“I still think it was half a job done, though. So I've something to work on to make sure, if I get in, I can be finishing it off next time.”
Carberry had to contend not just with McKay at the SWALEC Stadium but the fearsome pace of Mitchell Johnson, who sent down one delivery which was too hot to handle at 94mph and lobbed high above his head off his glove and then safely to ground before wicketkeeper or close fielders could converge.
That dicey moment, on eight, was one of very few – and Carberry believes he has his long apprenticeship with Hampshire, and Surrey and Kent too, to thank for his calmness under pressure.
“Sometimes that is the beauty of having played a lot of first-class cricket," Carberry said. “Yes, it's only your fourth one-day international, but you're not totally fazed by someone bowling very well.
“It was a tough situation, with the series on the line as well. It was satisfying to weather the storm early on, then get into our stride and set it up nicely for Jos down the end.
“We just kept saying ‘we've got to bat at least 20-odd overs’, calm things down and take the sting out of it.”
It was a similar story of refusing to buckle mentally after his earlier failures at the top of the order, including a hapless run-out for just one in the rain-wrecked match at Edgbaston last week.
When the going gets tough, Carberry has a bank of more than 10,000 first-class runs – including a triple-century – to keep his confidence intact.
“When you get three low scores early on, of course you're disappointed,” he said.
“But there is a difference between being disappointed and then carrying that disappointment round with you into the next game. I was determined not to do that, and I think what I've done well is stay positive.”
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