Lancashire were stunned by a quick-fire 150 from Michael Carberry in tonight's Yorkshire Bank 40 match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, which the hosts won comfortably by nine wickets chasing 245.
An excellent 85-ball hundred from opener Ashwell Prince, including 11 fours and a six, had put the Lightning in a healthy position at the halfway stage with a total of 244-6 after they had been invited to bat first.
Prince shared 112 in 17 and a half overs with Karl Brown, who added a fluent 44, after the visitors had slipped to 29-2 early in the eighth over following the loss of Stephen Moore and Steven Croft.
Talking to the Sky television cameras at the break, Prince described Lancashire’s score as good and the pitch slow, which seemed to have left them in a strong position as they pursued a second win on the bounce after beating Surrey at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday.
But not out Carberry had other ideas. In partnership with James Vince (25) at the top of the order, he raced out of the blocks, hitting Oliver Newby and Wayne White for huge sixes over mid-wicket on the way to 50 off 36 balls.
He and Vince shared 77 inside eleven overs to lay the platform for a win with six overs to spare for the defending champions.
After Vince departed to Kyle Hogg, caught at deep square-leg by Brown in the eleventh over, the one-time England Test player and current England Lion added a record-breaking 173 unbroken for the second wicket with captain Jimmy Adams inside 24 overs, who finished 66 not out.
Carberry reached his hundred off 77 balls before becoming only the fifth player to score 150 against Lancashire in List A cricket, finishing with 18 fours and five sixes.
Stand-in captain Simon Katich, who won this competition with Hampshire last year, said: “It’s pretty hard to stop a knock like that. The boys tried everything, but that’s the way it goes. Carberry’s a class player who never gave us a sniff.
“The conditions were completely different to Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday. There wasn’t a lot of spin, and the wicket didn’t slow up as much as we thought. If anything, it probably skidded on to the bat better under lights. That’s why they chased.
“Whatever we threw at them didn't do anything, but our lads will learn a lot from that and bounce back strongly next time.
“Ashwell played beautifully, and he did exactly what we’re after by batting through the innings. We thought he’d got us to a decent total, but they blasted us away.”
Earlier, Moore was caught at point off Dimitri Mascarenhas in the second over and Croft caught behind by substitute wicketkeeper Tom Alsop, deputising for Michael Bates because he had not arrived at the ground due to second-team duty.
Hampshire had to call upon Bates following a last minute injury to Adam Wheater.
Prince, however, was quickly into his stride on the way to only a third List A hundred in his 239th match. His second was for Lancashire against Glamorgan in May 2010 and his first for the Warriors in South Africa at the start of that year.
Prince and Brown were two of three wickets to fall for 44 as Lancashire slipped from 141-2 in the 25th over to 185-5 in the 33rd, Brown falling to left-arm spinner Liam Dawson for 44 off 59 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Prince departed the ball after reaching his ton when he top-edged a pull at Sean Ervine behind.
Lancashire will look back at that mini-collapse with regret, as they will a period of two and a half overs of batting powerplay without a boundary towards the end of their innings with Gareth Cross (36) and Wayne White (27 not out) together. They added 59 in eight overs.
The two sides are back in LV= County Championship action at the same venue in approximately 12 hours’ time.
Katich will hand back the captaincy reins to the rested Glen Chapple. He added: “You never like to see somebody get a huge score one day because he’ll take that confidence into the next. But he has to start again from scratch. It’s a totally different game, and we have to forget about this ahead of tomorrow.”
Photo: Ashwell Prince during his century at the Ageas Bowl (c) Barry Mitchell