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Carberry puts Hampshire in control
9:33pm Friday 27th April 2012 in Sport
Limping Michael Carberry helped Hampshire establish a sound first-innings position against Leicestershire and in the process justified his call to the England Lions squad to face the West Indies next month.
On a second day hindered by rain yesterday, Hampshire closed at 181 for four with Carberry needing the aid of a runner in making an unbeaten 73.
This 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.
Carberry, whose solitary England cap came two years ago, is only now fully recovered from blood clots on the lung, a condition which stopped him playing until July and at one stage threatened his life.
But while the lung problem may be part of his past, Carberry still struggled while batting on another cloud-covered day because of a recurrence 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 as 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 a stand 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 three for 63.
Earlier Leicestershire resumed at 159 for six and added a further 75 around Eckersley's important contribution from number eight, after the loss of Joshua Cobb after four overs of the day's play.
Left-arm spinner Dawson, who had taken three wickets overnight, added two more in Cobb and Wayne White to finish with career-best Championship figures of five for 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.
Keep up with local sport in tomorrow's Daily Echo