Nash discreet on opening day of Hampshire clash
Canterbury, England - Hampshire opener Michael Carberry returned to Canterbury to haunt his old county with a first century of the County Championship season and inflict a day of leather-chasing upon Kent.
The 32-year-old left-hander, who spent three seasons at the St Lawrence Ground until heading south at the end of 2005, hit a season's best 137 not out to help Hampshire post 263 for 3 at stumps on the opening day.
Carberry lost opening partner Jimmy Adams early on and saw James Vince depart leg before after tea. But, either side of Vince's dismissal, he featured in a second-wicket stand worth 146 in 56.3 overs with Liam Dawson and then, in the final session, an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership with Sean Ervine that added a further 71 runs through to the close.
Batting first having won the toss on another scorching day in the south east, Hampshire's top-order initially struggled to score at anything much above two runs an over on a slow and unresponsive pitch.
The only wicket to fall before lunch came in the 13th over of the match when Adams, driving loosely against Charlie Shreck, picked out Daniel Bell-Drummond diving to his left for a catch at short extra-cover to make it 31 for 1.
Dawson and Carberry combined to bat beyond the tea interval, though in terms of entertainment it was a day for the purists as Kent's attack, shorn of Mitch Claydon, Mark Davies and Matt Coles, sent down 17 maidens in the opening two sessions.
Vernon Philander, Calum Haggett and Darren Stevens all bowled wicket-to-wicket on the benign surface to concede less than two an over during four dour hours of cricket.
Dawson overtook Carberry to be first to his half-century, from 124 balls and with five fours, in the 50th over of the game. Carberry reached the milestone in the following over, from 142 deliveries and with six boundaries.
There was brief respite from Hampshire's backs-to-the-wall batting when Kent introduced part-time wrist-spinner Brendan Nash, whose two overs from the Nackington Road End went for 23, including consecutive straight sixes to Carberry, before he was swiftly withdrawn from the attack.
Kent skipper James Tredwell thought he had snared Dawson just before the tea break for 71 when he and Rob Key, having heard two noises, appealed for a bat-pad catch at leg slip.
Dawson turned in the crease and appeared to be walking toward the Pavilion, only to stop and sit on his bat handle from where umpire Steve Gale, correctly, adjudged him not out having seen the ball balloon off the right-hander's thigh pad.
Dawson went soon after the resumption for 75, however, leg before when working across the line to a near yorker length ball from Darren Stevens that struck him on the boot to make it 177 for 2.
Vince fell in similar circumstances 15 runs on when he missed a Haggett off-cutter. After five hours at the crease Carberry posted his 28th first-class hundred and his first in the County Championship since September 2011.
He reached the landmark with a back-foot cut for four against Philander, having faced 219 balls and after hitting 11 fours and a brace of sixes. Kent barely threatened to dislodge him or Ervine thereafter as the visitors saw off the last six overs of the day, bowled with the second new ball, without alarm.