CB40: Kent keep semi-final hopes alive with win at Grace Road

Monday 30th August 2010

Leicestershire Foxes v Kent Spitfires
Clydesdale Bank 40 – Group C
Monday, 30 August 2010
Grace Road, Leicester

Kent won by six wickets

Leicestershire innings: 182 all out, 38.1 overs
New 47*, Boyce 41, Benning 26
Coles 3-27, Cook 2-23, Bandara 2-31

Kent innings: 185 for four, 33.2 overs
Key 45, Stevens 42*, Blake 41*
Benning 2-32, Hoggard 1-25, Naik 1-48

Another fine all-round display from the Kent Spitfires saw them keep alive their CB40 qualification hopes as they brushed aside the Leicestershire Foxes by six wickets at Grace Road. The win means a victory in their final Group C match against the Durham Dynamos could see Rob Key“s side qualify for a semi-final berth in the 40-over competition.

Excellent bowling from Matt Coles (pictured) setup the win as he took three more wickets to help restrict the Foxes to 182. Then, despite a minor wobble, the Spitfires romped to victory with nearly seven overs remaining.

Batting first the Foxes, much like when they got off to a flying start in the corresponding fixture at the St Lawrence Ground earlier in the month, immediately took the attack to the Spitfires in the early overs. James Benning and Jacques du Toit put on 44 for the first wicket inside seven overs before Coles struck to continue his fine CB40 form. Firstly the youngster cleaned-up Benning for 26. From then on it was the visitors who took control as du Toit was run-out next, also for 26, as the Foxes reached 71 for two inside 13 overs. Then came a batting collapse that put paid to any chances the Foxes harboured of posting a competitive total as they soon found themselves 81 for five. James Taylor was trapped in front first-ball by Simon Cook and Josh Cobb then became Malinga Bandara“s first scalp of the afternoon. Cook then clean bowled Greg Smith for seven to end a spell of Leicester losing four wickets in 15 balls for the addition of just ten runs.

A fine sixth wicket stand of 79 between Matthew Boyce and Tom New boosted the Foxes but Bandara struck to remove the former for 41 as the Sri Lankan leg-spinner finished with figures of two for 31. At 160 for six, Kent were in control and it didn’t take them long to wrap up the tail. James Tredwell removed Jigar Naik for two before Coles, further enhancing his death-bowling reputation, clean bowled Matthew Hoggard and Harry Gurney in the same over to decimate the Foxes lower-order. Dewald Nel extinguished any chances of a late flourish when he bowled number 11 Alex Wyatt for one as the home side were bundled out for 182, with New left stranded on 47 not-out. Coles (3-27) and Cook (2-23), alongside Bandara, impressed as the Spitfires bowling-unit did a fine job in restricting the Foxes after an explosive start.

Captain Key and Joe Denly got the run-chase off to a fantastic start, regularly finding the boundary in the first powerplay, as the duo saw the Spitfires to 62-0 off ten overs – the perfect foundation to launch a winning assault. However, the Spitfires progress was soon checked when Benning took two wickets in three balls. Firstly the former Surrey-man bowled Denly for 40 and then he cleaned up Sunday’s century-maker, Martin van Jaarsveld, for a second-ball duck as the visitors stuttered. The flurry of wickets continued with the first ball of the next over when Hoggard trapped his opposite number Key in front for 45. Suddenly Kent were 91 for three and, despite them still being in control, Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens had to rebuild. The pair halted the collapse momentarily until Jones was bowled by Naik for 11. After his dismissal, the Spitfires required 71 off 20 overs, with the onus on Stevens to see them home.

Playing against his former county, Stevens found a great ally in the form of youngster Alex Blake as, after a cautious start, the duo quickly ended any Foxes hopes of recovering in the game as they put on an unbeaten stand of 72 to see the Spitfires home with 40 balls and six wickets to spare. Stevens remained not-out on 42 whilst Blake contributed 41 at better than a run a ball as Key’s men kept their chances alive of sneaking a semi-final berth.

Leicestershire: Benning, du Toit, Cobb, Taylor, Smith, Boyce, New (W), Naik, Hoggard (C), Wyatt, Gurney

Kent: Key (C), Denly, van Jaarsveld, Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Tredwell, Coles, Cook, Bandara, Nel

Umpires: S A Garratt, M A Gough