Hampshire v Middlesex: Michael Carberry steadies hosts against champions

Michael Carberry
Michael Carberry struck his 65th first-class fifty
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day two):
Middlesex 356: Robson 84, Eskinzai 82; Wheal 4-98
Hampshire 209-4: Carberry 84*, Ervine 53; Rayner 2-46
Hampshire 3 pts, Middlesex 4 pts
Hampshire trail by 147 runs

Opener Michael Carberry struck an unbeaten 84 to lead Hampshire to 209-4 on day two against Middlesex.

Middlesex began the day on 290-6 and added 66 to their score thanks to a 55-run partnership between Toby Roland-Jones (39) and Ollie Rayner (26).

Carberry, dropped in the slips on 25 and hampered by a hand injury, struck 11 fours and a six and shared a stand of 93 with Sean Ervine (53).

The 36-year-old's gritty innings saw him through to stumps with Kyle Abbott.

Hampshire began the day looking to wrap up the reigning champions' first innings as quickly as possible and looked to be doing just that when Abbott (2-87) had James Franklin (19) caught by James Vince in the slips.

However, Roland-Jones and Rayner counter-attacked at a rate of five runs per over to help Middlesex to 349 before Roland-Jones drove Brad Wheal (4-98) to cover and Rayner missed a straight one from Dawson next ball.

The tail was quickly dismissed, allowing Carberry and Jimmy Adams (34) to make a solid start before Adams edged Rayner (2-46) to slip to end a 57-run opening partnership.

Vince was caught at second slip and Dawson fell just before tea, edging Rayner behind, but Carberry and Ervine regrouped with a good partnership over 26 overs in the final session.

Steven Finn broke the stand by bowling Ervine and should have had nightwatchman Abbott as well, only for gully fielder Sam Robson to drop a simple chance while celebrating.

Carberry will begin day three looking to complete his 36th first-class century and his first in the County Championship since returning from cancer treatment.

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