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Carberry stars in Royals romp

Michael Carberry took his Canterbury run-spree for July to 303 in three innings as the one-time Kent Spitfires favourite put his old side to the sword.

Carberry's heroics helped inspire Hampshire Royals to a seventh Friends Life t20 South Group victory as they against their youthful hosts, securing top spot.

Fresh from scoring 154 and 66 in the corresponding LV= County Championship clash two weeks ago, Carberry returned to hit 11 fours and a six in an unbeaten 83 as Hampshire posted an impressive 185 for six.

In pursuit a Kent side without the likes of Rob Key, Brendan Nash, Michael Powell, Vernon Philander and Charlie Shreck were held to 123 for nine as off-spinner Liam Dawson caused havoc with competition-best figures of 4-19.

The Spitfires lost openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Fabian Cowdrey in the fifth over of their reply, bowled by Royals captain Dimitri Mascarenhas, and were already 30 runs off the pace by the end of the powerplay.

At the mid-point of their reply, Kent's asking rate had soared to 12 an over yet Darren Stevens briefly warmed to the task, clubbing three sixes in the space of 11 balls, only to lose Sam Billings to a catch in the deep off Dawson for 21.

Three balls later and without addition, Stevens top-edged a sweep off Dawson to fine-leg to go for 39 off 28 balls and, when the left-arm spinner had Alex Blake stumped first ball to make it 69 for five, Kent's hopes of completing a double over the Royals were in tatters.

Earlier, Hampshire set out to avenge their sole defeat in this season’s competition by batting first on a pristine pitch that helped openers Carberry and James Vince put 20 on board within nine deliveries.

Vince clubbed a brace of leg-side sixes off Mitchell Claydon, but the on-loan Durham seamer won quick revenge by clipping the top of off-stump as the batsman looked to repeat the trick.

Carberry upped his tempo by taking four boundaries in Claydon's next over, although Mark Davies stemmed the flow by having Jimmy Adams caught off a thick edge by Claydon at short third-man.

Rookie off-spinner Adam Riley, Kent's most frugal bowler with 0-21, and veteran all-rounder Stevens temporarily restricted the boundary count to limit the Royals to 84 for two at the innings’ midway point, only for Carberry to plough on to a 33-ball 50 with seven fours and a six.

The left-hander helped add 94 in 11.1 overs with Neil McKenzie before the latter was run out for 45 when attempting a sharp single to Stevens at wide mid-on.

Mascarenhas then fell to a spectacular overhead catch at long-leg by Ben Harmison after hooking at a Matt Coles bouncer.

Coles picked up a second scalp as Sean Ervine clipped a low full toss to long-on, while Claydon closed with a costly 2-55 when he bowled Dawson for a brisk 17 with the final delivery of the innings.