MICHAEL Carberry struck a superb 96 as defending champions Hampshire eased to a five-wicket triumph over Durham at the Ageas Bowl to stay top of Group B in the Yorkshire Bank 40.
Carberry was out, caught at the wicket off Mark Wood with one run needed, but the damage had been done as Hampshire judged a run-chase perfectly to reach their target of 242 with five balls to spare.
Durham had earlier made 241 for eight with Ben Stokes and Will Smith leading a fightback following a poor start from the visitors with rapid fifties.
Rain reduced the match to 36 overs each and Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams chose to bat first and was soon justified as Durham struggled to 45 for four in the 11th over.
Dimitri Mascarenhas, making his first appearance of the season after returning from the IPL, removed Phil Mustard in his first over and left-arm pace bowler Chris Wood sent back Scott Borthwick and skipper Mark Stoneman.
Paul Collingwood passed 10,000 List A runs after reaching five but added only one more before his stumps were shattered by David Griffiths.
Only later in the innings did Durham show signs of recovery with Stokes and Smith each hitting half-centuries to help their side a respectable total.
Stokes punished the Hampshire bowlers with an aggressive 87 off 71 balls in an innings that included six fours and four sixes before being stumped off Wood (three for 37).
Smith and Ryan Pringle then put on 74 valuable runs for the seventh wicket before pace bowler Griffiths (three for 42) returned to remove them both as Durham attempted a late acceleration.
However, Durham’s score always looked vulnerable despite claiming the wicket of James Vince to the second ball of the Hampshire innings.
High-scoring Vince, in fine form this season, was stumped by Mustard off Wood but that brought together Carberry and Adams and the initiative swung back in Hampshire’s direction.
The experienced second-wicket pair put on 133 in 18 overs before Adams slogged Borthwick to Wood at mid-wicket after making 67 from as many deliveries.
George Bailey and Sean Ervine each helped Carberry keep pace with the run-rate so that, with three overs left, Hampshire required 28.
It was then that Liam Dawson took control, smashing an unbeaten 37 off 21 balls with sixes off Chris Rushworth and Wood and four other boundaries.
Carberry departed looking for the winning run and with a century in his sights but his 86-ball innings had been the key to Hampshire’s third victory in this season’s competition.
England Lions batsman Carberry hit eight fours and two sixes, with medium-pacer Wood coming off worst with figures of one for 50 from five overs.