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Ball and Rouse stand inspires Spitfires win on FGS Plant Tour

Tuesday 31st January 2017

Men’s First Team

Adam Ball and Adam Rouse shared a unbroken stand of 84 to clinch a second successive Caribbean Super50 win in Antigua on the FGS Plant Tour.

Calum Haggett took a one-day career-best of 4/59 as the tourists restricted Windward Islands Volcanoes to 241 for nine.

Haggett and Ivan Thomas bowled tidily up front to frustrate the Volcanoes top order in the first ten overs after Kent skipper Sam Northeast won the toss following a sharp midday shower.

Haggett struck twice in the eighth over, taking a return catch to remove West Indies opener Johnson Charles before snaring international colleague Devon Smith, caught behind by Adam Rouse for a third-ball duck.

Imran Qayyum, Will Gidman and Darren Stevens each struck in the middle overs as Kent kept up the pressure.

Opener Theophile for 17 departed thanks to a tumbling Thomas catch at long-on off Qayyum before international all-rounder Andre Fletcher joined him.

Alex Blake flicked the ball mid-air as he leapt over the rope at long-on before springing back on to complete a clever catch to dismiss Fletcher off the bowling of Gidman, who took 1/35 from his ten overs.

Qayyum returned to remove Hodge, nicked behind as the left-armed found some grip on the Coolidge Cricket Ground surface.

After a brief rain delay, the Volcanoes counter-attacked through keeper-batsman Sunil Ambris (50) and skipper Liam Sebastien who smashed 32 before he swiped Stevens to Sean Dickson at deep square leg.

Adam Ball claimed another wonderful catch in tricky conditions as a forceful Ambris drive held up in the Caribbean wind and the Kent all-rounder dived forward and clung on.

Darren Sammy showed glimpses of his power in a quickfire 23 as Ball took the catch to give Haggett a third wicket before the same pair combined to remove Shillingford for 6 in the final over.

Fielding proved tricky on an uneven outfield and in windy conditions but Windwards plundered 87 in the final ten overs to a competitive total.

Kent initially faltered under the floodlights as Bell-Drummond was trapped LBW before a 50 stand by Dickson and Northeast got the tourists back on track.

Dickson was unfortunate to drag Mayers on for 36 in the 15th over after looking assured at the crease in his 43-ball knock.

The new batsman Stevens was equally fluent but chased a wide Hodge delivery and nicked to Sammy at slip for 21.

Will Gidman joined Northeast and hit delightful reverse sweeps for four through third man and point for 4 before he was bowled by Hodge attempting the same shot.

Northeast fell three overs later, adjudged LBW to Shillingford for 49 as the Volcanoes put pressure on Kent’s middle order.

Alex Blake played enough delightful reverse sweep as Windwards spin duo of Shane Shillingford and Liam Sebastien restricted conventional scoring with accurate line and flight.

Blake was bowled by Shillingford and Kent’s decision to play an extra batsman was rewarded with a gritty partnership between Adams Rouse and Ball.

Requiring 69 from 16 overs, the pair picked off singles and punished the odd bad ball to keep up the run rate.

Rouse swiped Sebastien for a reverse-swept four and a powerful drive past mid-off to the rope next ball.

The pair shepherded Kent past 200 with List A career-best scores as the partnership passed 50 runs thanks to a lovely Ball sweep flicked through fine leg to the boundary.

With 19 needed off 6 overs, Rouse (36* off 37 balls) freed his arms with a lusty blow over Sebastien’s head for the first six of the reply.

Ball repeated the feat to seal a four-wicket win with 29 balls to spare and a man-of-the-match award for 40* in 46 balls.

Scorecard

Kent close the gap on leaders Leeward Islands Hurricanes to five points and face West Indies U19 on Thursday (2 February, 1300 GMT) before playing the Hurricanes on Saturday (4 February, 1730 GMT).

You can see Saturday’s match live on BT Sport ESPN in the UK

Click here to buy 2017 Kent tickets including the visit of the West Indies