Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

County Reclaim Top Position After Hampshire Hold Out On Final Day

County Reclaim Top Position After Hampshire Hold Out On Final Day

Worcestershire reclaimed top spot in Division Two of the LV = County Championship despite nearest rivals Hampshire holding out for a draw at New Road.

Michael Carberry's fifth Championship 100 against the county ensured that Hampshire avoided defeat after they had followed on 183 behind.

But Worcestershire wiped out the four point lead previously held by their opponents going into the game.

The two sides are now level on points and three wins but Worcestershire go top because they fared better in the two drawn games with Hampshire claiming 24 points to 17.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes' side are also top of the North Group in the Natwest T20 Blast ahead of Friday's trip to Derbyshire Falcons.

Paceman Charlie Morris was Worcestershire's most successful bowler on the final day with three wickets but Carberry's 100 led determined Hampshire resistance.

Hampshire resumed on 31-1 but in effect they were two wickets down as spinner and overnight nightwatchman Danny Briggs had returned south for the impending birth of his first child.

Morris entered the attack at 66-1 and immediately made a breakthrough when Will Smith (11) shouldered arms and was bowled.

James Vince looked in good nick but after making 16 he became the second victim of the morning for Morris. The Hampshire vice-captain drove at Morris and was trapped lbw for 16 to leave Hampshire on 88-3.

Carberry reached his half century off 106 balls with 10 fours out of 111-3. Hampshire resumed after lunch on 147-3 and Carberry and Glenn Maxwell scored freely.

Maxwell's 50 came off 44 balls with eight fours and a six and Hampshire ensured Worcestershire would have to bat again in the 55th over.

A two off Shaaiq Choudhry took Carberry to his 100 from 192 deliveries with 17 boundaries and a six.

Morris continued to plug away and was rewarded when Maxwell (85) was trapped lbw to end a stand of 149 in 33 overs with Carberry.

Carberry's fine knock finally ended shortly before tea – 125 from 249 balls with one six and 21 fours – when he was adjudged lbw to Joe Leach.

Hampshire were then on 272-5 and in the final session Sean Ervine and Michael Bates steered their side to safety at 321-5 – a lead of 138.