Worcestershire v Hampshire: Michael Carberry forces draw

LV= County Championship Division Two, New Road

Worcestershire 402-9 dec drew with Hampshire 219 and 321-5 dec

Worcestershire 12 pts, Hampshire 8 pts

Match scorecard

England discard Michael Carberry hit a chanceless century to help Hampshire force a draw against Worcestershire.

Carberry, looking to win back the Test place he lost after England's winter Ashes tour, followed up a first-innings golden duck with a superb 125.

Glenn Maxwell hit an excellent 85 as the pair put on 149 for the fourth wicket.

Hampshire finished on 321-5, but Worcestershire move back above them to the top of the Division Two table.

Top of the heap

Apart from being top of Division Two, Worcestershire possess this season's leading County Championship run-scorer and wicket-taker in their ranks.

Captain Daryl Mitchell's haul of 771 runs still keeps him top, clear of Hampshire batsman James Vince's 749.

Pakistan Test spinner Saeed Ajmal has taken 37 wickets - two clear of Yorkshire pace bowler Jack Brooks

The home side's superior haul of bonus points - seven to Hampshire's three - made up the four-point leeway between the two sides at the start of the game.

And the two main promotion contenders now stand 34 points clear of third-placed Essex at the halfway mark of the Championship season

Resuming on 31-1, Hampshire's first target was to add the 152 runs needed to make the home side bat again.

That task was immediately harder, having lost nightwatchman Danny Briggs, who had been called away during the small hours to attend the imminent birth of his first child.

It looked as if Worcestershire were on course for victory when Charlie Morris removed Will Smith and James Vince in quick succession to reduce Hampshire to 88-3.

But the expected threat of Worcestershire's star spinner Saeed Ajmal never materialised.

Carberry hit 21 fours and a six in his 249-ball, near five-hour stay at the crease, hitting his second Championship century of the summer.

But he was actually outscored in his partnership with Maxwell, who hit two sixes off Ajmal in his 85, at almost a run a ball.

Both went before the game was safe, but Sean Ervine (42 not out) and Michael Bates (20 not out) saw Hampshire through to the shaking of hands just before 17:00 BST.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes:

"Although we didn't win, I'm still very proud of the way the lads performed. I can't fault them one bit, They really stuck to their task.

"We're now halfway through the season and we're joint top with Hampshire after eight games and we'd certainly have taken that back in April.

"Now we've got to maintain that throughout the second half of the season, which won't be easy."

BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley:

"Michael Carberry and Glenn Maxwell took the game away from Worcestershire, after the home side had dominated for the first three days.

"It is remarkable that Saeed Ajmal did not take a wicket on the last day, mainly because Carberry and Maxwell played him a lot better, and the pitch, which never span much on the third day, got lower and slower.

"Charlie Morris once again proved what a find he has been for Worcestershire and ran in with gusto all day, thoroughly deserving his three wickets."

BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James:

"Hampshire will feel like they came away from New Road with a victory after staring defeat in the face at the start of day four.

"Michael Carberry and Glenn Maxwell balls combined to put on 149 for the fourth wicket in contrasting styles, which went a long way to ensuring the draw.

"Saeed Ajmal, so rampant in the first innings and previous matches at New Road, was odds on to be to be Worcestershire's match winner, but he surprisingly went wicketless on the last day."