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Carberry magic thrills Mascarenhas

Hampshire skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas heaped praise on Michael Carberry after the opener's maiden Friends Life t20 century helped the Royals to a nail-biting one-run win in their quarter-final against Lancashire Lightning.

The 32-year-old reached his hundred off the final ball of his side's innings as the hosts set an imposing target of 202.

And despite Lancashire putting up an almighty scrap, Carberry's knock proved enough to take the Royals to finals day for the fourth successive year, leaving his captain thrilled.

“He's done exceptionally well,” Mascarenhas told ecb.co.uk. “I've played a lot of Twenty20 cricket and I haven`t seen anyone play as good as this as consistently as he's done.

“Every game he's been banging the runs and he's not just been blocking them around, he`s been whacking sixes and fours and it`s just awesome to watch.”

It was Carberry's first century in the format and the left-hander was delighted to achieve the feat with two runs from the final delivery.

“A good 10 years have gone into that innings,” he said. “I played in the very first edition of Twenty20 and I came close in the first year, scoring 90, so I think to get three figures caps off a lot of hard work I've put into my game.

“It got a little bit close towards the end. (Mitchell) McClenaghan and Kabir (Ali) bowled excellently at the death, mixed their pace up really well, got their yorkers in and it was tough to get them away.

"Fortunately I managed to scratch on a few and get down the other end for my three figures.”

Hampshire are now aiming for a third FLt20 title in four seasons when finals day takes place at Edgbaston on August 17. While Mascarenhas was thrilled to lead his side to the last four once again, he was quick to warn the Royals will need to be at their best to win again.

“It's absolutely awesome to get there again,” he said. “Now we've got to work even harder.

“We're going to have a tough draw whoever we get in the semi-final. We're going to have to front up and play really good cricket if we're going to go through to the final.”

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