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Coles smashes 71-ball ton in One-Day Cup quarter-final exit

Thursday 27th August 2015

Men’s First Team

Matt Coles smashed nine sixes and seven fours in a remarkable 71-ball 100 before Surrey clinched a dramatic 17-run victory against Kent in an unforgettable Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final at the Kia Oval.

Coles, who came in at 101 for seven and turned down several singles to keep the strike throughout the closing overs in order to bludgeon a stream of boundaries, finally fell when he skied the fourth ball of the 38thover, bowled by Tom Curran, to be caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

Despite his career-best contribution, Kent’s 233 all out was 18 runs short of their Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target.

As Surrey’s players celebrated reaching a home semi-final tie against Nottinghamshire on September 7, the 25-year-old Coles slumped distraught over his bat.

It was an heroic attempt to pull a match which had seemed lost out of the bag, but in the end it was no consolation that his hundred was a List A best. Indeed, his previous highest score in the format was 47.

Before Coles’s late pyrotechnics, as Surrey struggled with a wet ball as the clock ticked well past 10pm, Jason Roy’s 112 and a superlative new ball burst by Sam Curran had spearheaded their effort.

An 80-minute rain stoppage from 6.40pm did Kent no favours, but they were already 22 for two from 7.4 overs in reply to Surrey’s 273 all out when the weather interruption meant a Duckworth-Lewis recalculation in which they were left needing a total of 251 from 40 overs.

The required run rate increased from 5.95 per over to 7.08 per over and soon Tom Curran had bowled both Fabian Cowdrey and Sam Northeast for 7 and 23 respectively as Kent’s top order departed under the floodlights.

Zafar Ansari, called up for the 14thover, then had Sam Billings stumped for 3 with just his second ball, and at 49 for five Kent were all but down and out.

Alex Blake hit Ansari’s left-arm spin over extra cover for six but went for 17 when he chipped the next ball to mid wicket, and when James Tredwell edged Gareth Batty’s off spin to keeper Foakes on 3 it left Kent on a seemingly hopeless 101 for seven.

After that, Darren Stevens hit out spiritedly in an entertaining 35-ball 37 but he edged behind at 140 to leave Coles to put onan incredible display of hitting.

Coles, who lost Mitch Claydon at 169, totally dominated a last wicket stand of 64 in 7.4 overs with Matt Hunn, who faced just five balls for his 1 not out.

Skiddy 17-year-old left-armer Sam Curran began Kent’s sad top order decline by having Daniel Bell-Drummond superbly held for 1 low down to his left at first slip by Kumar Sangakkara with his second ball.

And, in his fourth over, with the ball before the rain drove the players off, Curran saw Joe Denly, on 13, pull a bouncer straight to Rory Burns at deep mid wicket. After four overs, Curran had figures of 2 for 6.

Roy, who reached fifty from 60 balls and his hundred from 109, hit 13 fours and a six off a Cowdrey full toss in a 116-ball innings that took his competition run-tally for the season to 400 at an average of 50.

Burns, with 42 from 50 balls, gave Roy good support but Kent’s bowlers put in a disciplined performance overall with Tredwell, Coles and Claydon impressing with three wickets apiece.

At halfway, and particularly before the weather intervened on the back of Curran’s new ball incisions, the match had looked evenly-balanced.

Roy’s hundred was the mainstay of the Surrey innings, although the England one-day opener needed some good fortune early against Coles, who swung the new ball, and also saw a number of miscued shots fall safely to earth when, on another day, they might have brought his downfall.

Kent made two important strikes in the first 20 overs, in which they held Surrey to 95 for two.

Steven Davies, who took three fours off Coles in the sixth over – the first of them edged between two slips – was taken at the wicket by Billings for 17 off Stevens, and Sangakkara laboured somewhat to 15 from 30 balls before Tredwell made a quicker ball turn and bounce to have him held at slip from the last ball of the 20thover.

Burns helped Roy to add 97 in 16 overs for the third wicket, and it was a partnership which threatened to propel Surrey to a total of around 300, but both then fell in quick succession as Kent fought back in the field.

Roy was brilliantly held low down at deep mid wicket by Blake off Tredwell, when the off spinner was brought back into the attack for the 36thover after four overs of slow left-armers by Cowdrey had cost 33 runs.

Burns fell in the next over, bowled leg stump by Coles as he moved across his crease in an attempt to flip the burly paceman away behind square, and from 198 for four only Ansari, with 35, made any sort of score as Surrey lost their last eight wickets for 81 runs in 14.3 overs.

Foakes chipped Tredwell to mid wicket to go for 4, James Burke slashed Claydon to point on 15 and then Coles struck twice in successive balls in his final over to send back both Tom Curran and Ansari.

The elder Curran brother was well-held above his head on the long-off boundary by Cowdrey and Ansari, who had managed just one four in his 37-ball stay, lost his leg stump as he tried to flick to leg.

Surrey’s last two wickets fell in the last over, bowled by Claydon, as Batty inside-edged to Billings on 1 and Sam Curran – having cover driven a two and thick-edged a four – mishit his third ball to short fine leg.

Click here to view the scorecard