Carberry undaunted by opening challenge

Warwickshire 311 Kent 196-3
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The Independent Online

After another stop-start day, with more stop than start, the likelihood of a positive finish here is not good, which will probably mean a further addition to the catalogue of unfinished business that has made up much of the Frizzell County Championship so far. To date, only five matches in the First Division have produced a winner.

Warwickshire finished with a total they could not have envisaged when they were 195 for 8 on Thursday afternoon, but after persistently showery weather had robbed the first two days of so many overs they needed to make short work of their opponents to give themselves a chance to dictate terms today.

Instead, Kent batted too soundly for that to happen and Warwickshire's bowling did not ask enough questions of them. In the absence of the injured David Fulton and England's Robert Key, Kent's opening pair are Michael Carberry and James Tredwell, neither of whom boasts more than a handful of games, but Carberry in particular was undaunted by the challenge.

The 22-year-old left-hander moved from Surrey during the winter and is already prospering. His half-century yesterday was his third in the Championship for his new county. Kent hired him essentially as cover for Fulton, who is recovering from a serious eye injury, but he is making a good case to be retained when the captain returns.

Yesterday he shared a partnership of 89 for the second wicket with Ed Smith after Tredwell had fallen early to Melvyn Betts' inswing. Despite having to play himself in three times he looked to be moving sweetly towards something more substantial when, having reached 58 with a six and five fours, he miscued to mid-on.

Earlier in the day, Kent revisited last season's inability to see off tailenders. In only a couple of overs, Warwickshire added 31 to their overnight total to claim a second batting point.

Neil Smith, whose one-day cricket only contract allows him overtime payments for Championship appearances, earned his bonus by reaching 57 before edging to second slip. That gave Martin Saggers a fifth success but the last two wickets had put on 116.