Blake stars with the bat and Ntini signs off with a home win

Sunday 30th May 2010

Alex Blake cracked eight fours and a six in his unbeaten 56-ball stay

Kent v Scotland Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C, Canterbury.
By Mark Pennell
Alex Blake“s career-best unbeaten 81 eased Kent to a no frills 58-run Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Scotland and extended Spitfires winning run to three successive matches.
The 21-year-old from Farnborough featured in a sixth-wicket stand with Azhar Mahmood that added 102 in 24 overs and helped the hosts recover from another sticky start at 108 for four after the Scots elected to field first.
Playing only his 13th league game, Blake and Mahmood turned the course of the game played out largely in cool, overcast conditions that allowed Scotland“s attack to nip the ball around and nip out Kent“s top five for 113 inside the opening 24 overs.
After an opening stand of 45 between internationals Joe Denly and Rob Key, Denly blotted his copybook by missing an attempted slash drive against Gordon Drummond to be bowled for 24.
Martin van Jaarsveld (9) had his off stump plucked out by an off-cutter from Richie Berrington and, in the following over, Key (24) worked across a straight one from Majid Haq and also had his stumps rearranged.
Stevens (25) and Geraint Jones (24) added 47 for the fourth wicket but when both fell in the space of two overs Kent were in danger of becoming Scotland“s second county scalp of the campaign following their shock away win over Leicestershire a fortnight ago.
But Blake, with eight fours and a cover-driven six in his 56-ball innings joined forces with Mahmood, who clattered 44 from 41 balls, to bat the visitors out of the game and take Kent to a respectable 249 at a scoring rate of 6.22 an over.
Scotland“s reply floundered from the off against the pace of Makhaya Ntini, on his last appearance for Kent, and the wiles of Mahmood. Mahmood trimmed Omer Hussain“s off stump in the second over and then Ntini pegged back Gavin Hamilton“s off peg to finish his eight over stint with one for 28.
Simon Cook then took two in as many overs on his way to figures of two for 50, he trapped Gregor Maiden (9) leg before and had Berrington (1) caught at slip off an edged drive.
The Scots regrouped through George Bailey, with a 57-ball 50, and Neil McCallum who added 93for the fifth wicket but much to the detriment of the asking rate that had escalated to 14.5 by the time Bailey went for 70, bowled around his legs by Khan when attempting a leg-side clip.
Then, when McCallum (45) holed out in Khan“s next over Scotland“s outside hopes of causing an upset went with him.