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Carberry takes confident steps

Leicestershire CCC

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Limping Michael Carberry helped Hampshire establish a sound first-innings position against Leicestershire and in the process justified his call up to the England Lions squad that faces West Indies next month.

On a second day hindered by rain, Hampshire closed at 181 for four with Carberry needing the aid of a runner in making an unbeaten 73.

That was in response to Leicestershire’s first-innings total of 234 all out, made in 99.2 overs after a late rally led by wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley’s diligent 34.

Michael Carberry

Michael Carberry overcame a groin injury to top-score with 73 not out as Hampshire closed 53 behind Leicestershire's 234 all out

Carberry, whose solitary England cap came two years ago, struggled while batting on another cloud-covered day because of a groin injury.

It did not stop him hitting pace bowler Alex Wyatt for six and striking 13 fours in his 138-ball innings. Leicestershire failed to build on a promising start which saw Wyatt dismiss openers Sean Terry and Liam Dawson cheaply.

Terry, son of the former Hampshire and England batsman Paul, marked his championship debut with a duck, caught in the slips in Wyatt’s first over.

When Dawson was caught behind for 19, Hampshire were 25 for two, but then Carberry was joined by stand-in captain Simon Katich in an alliance of 124 for the third wicket.

Katich edged Nadeem Malik to the wicketkeeper after making 54 and James Vince followed five runs later at 154, caught at slip by Ramnaresh Sarwan off Wyatt.

But Carberry remained firm and with Sean Ervine saw Hampshire through to the close, at which point they were 53 behind with six wickets in hand. The persevering Wyatt ended the day with 3-63.

Earlier, Leicestershire resumed at 159 for six and added a further 75 around Eckersley’s important contribution from number eight, following the loss of Josh Cobb after four overs of the day’s play.

Left-arm spinner Dawson, who had taken three wickets yesterday, added two more in Cobb and Wayne White to finish with best championship figures of 5-29.

David Balcombe, who has had an outstanding season so far, took only one wicket in the innings, that of Eckersley to a slip catch by Vince, and David Griffiths finished off Leicestershire when he had last man Wyatt held by wicketkeeper Michael Bates.

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