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Bandara cleans up as Kent slay the Gladiators

Saturday 3rd July 2010

Malinga Bandara secured three for 27 in a cruicial mid-innings spell at St Lawrence

Kent Spitfires v Gloucestershire Gladiators, Friends Provident t20, Canterbury.
By Mark Pennell
A three for 27 return by Malinga Bandara and identical figures of two for 27 by Azhar Mahmood and Amjad Khan helped Kent to a 12-run win over Gloucestershire and an early lead in the battle to avoid the Friends Provident t20 wooden spoon.
In a re-run of the Edgbaston Twenty20 final of 2007, Gladiators soon lost their way when chasing Kent“s par-for-the-course total of 165 to suffer their eighth defeat of the campaign while allowing Kent a fourth win of a modest campaign.
Gloucestershire began making a hash of their pursuit as early as the sixth delivery when William Porterfield turned a leg-stump delivery from Azhar Mahmood straight to Joe Denly at deep square-leg.
The visitors re-gained some composure in reaching 42 before Alex Redmond drove the first ball of the afternoon from left-arm seamer Ashley Shaw, who was making his home debut, straight to mid-off.
Dangerman Hamish Marshall, having been dropped on six, added only 11 more before heaving across a straight one from Simon Cook to be bowled, then wrist-spinner Malinga Bandara took two wickets in three balls to cut down the Gladiators in full stride.
Chris Taylor edged an attempted drive to the keeper then top-scorer James Franklin was deceived in the flight and only succeeded in picking out James Hockley at long-on to go for 40 from 33 balls.
Chris Dent chanced his arm against that of Denly to be run out for six then Richard Dawson miscued a sweep to deep-square to give Bandara final figures of three for 27.
Steve Snell (21) had two stumps plucked out after missing a leg-side smear against Amjad Khan then, in the penultimate over Jonathan Lewis (26) holed out to long off and, with 14 needed off the last over, Khan cleaned up Kirby to secure the win with four balls to spare.
Batting first having won the toss, Kent initially made good use of the same firm pitch that they had used for Friday“s South Group clash with Hampshire.
Spitfires had 32 on the board within five overs before captain Rob Key (11) edged an attempted clip over mid-wicket to be caught off a skier at short fine-leg.
Denly, who survived a chance at mid-on when on 10, raced on to 44 from 31 balls and with four fours and a six before he drove firmly to long-on to be superbly caught on the run by Hamish Marshall to make it 89 for two.
No3 Geraint Jones (8) soon perished when he slog swept straight down the throat of the man at deep square-leg, then Alex Blake (5) naively skied a cover drive straight into the hands of Porterfield at deep extra-cover.
After that, only James Hockley with 13 at a run-a-ball and Martin van Jaarsveld, who top-scored with 59 from 40 balls reached double figures as Kent , from 105 for two, slid away to post 165 at an asking rate of 8.25 an over.
Van Jaarsveld timed the ball superbly to collect six fours and a six until he drove over a full-length ball from James Franklin to lose his off stump.
In the Kent carnage that followed, left-arm seamer David Payne bagged three for 25 and Jonathan Lewis two for 26 as Kent lost seven wickets for 60 runs in the pursuit of last-gasp runs.