FP t20: Denly impresses as Spitfires defeat the Gladiators

Saturday 12th June 2010

Gloucestershire Gladiators v Kent Spitfires
Friends Provident t20 – South Division
Sunday, 13 June 2010. 2.30pm start
King’s School, Gloucestershire

Kent: 217 all out; 19.5 overs
Denly 48, Key 44, Blake 33
Kadeer Ali 2-28, Franklin 2-41, Banerjee 1-31

Gloucestershire: 181 all out; 19.5 overs
Taylor 67, Porterfield 43, Butler 28
Cook 3-22, Coles 3-48, Azhar 2-18

Kent won by 36 runs

A fine all-round display from the Kent Spitfires saw them secure a crucial victory over the Gloucestershire Gladiators in the FPt20 South Division. In the process, Kent racked up their best t20 total.

A stunning opening stand set the trend for the Spitfires as captain Rob Key and Joe Denly (pictured) took the attack to the home side. The duo smashed 87 within the first nine overs before Key fell to James Franklin for 44 – a sprightly knock that included eight fours.

Despite the loss of the skipper, the visitors continued to power towards a dominant total. Denly’s explosive 48 came to an end when he was stumped off the bowling of Kadeer Ali as the visitors hit the hundred mark before the half-way stage of their innings.

The momentum continued as Martin van Jaarsveld hit two maximums in an 11 ball 26 before youngster Alex Blake took centre stage. The left-hander hammered the home attack, hitting four sixes on his way to a 17-ball 33.

The fall of Blake, bowled by Franklin, meant the lower order was set the task of getting the Spitfires over the 200 mark, and they didn’t disappoint. Azhar Mahmood was the main protagonist. The all-rounder hit 23 and helped guide Kent to a formidable 217.

Azhar then continued to influence the game as he took out Kiwi dangerman Franklin in his first over to leave the Gladiators 12 for one. A home side rally saw opener William Porterfield and captain Alex Gidman push on before Simon Cook struck to bowl Gidman for 13, followed by James Tredwell dismissing Porterfield in the same fashion for a 26-ball 43.

Despite keeping up with the required run-rate, at 70-3 the Gladiators were still up against it as Kent continued to make regular breakthroughs; Cook bowled Hamish Marshall for four and then completed his trio of wickets as he had Ali caught for five.

The final fireworks, from the home side, came from Chris Taylor as he hit a quick fire 67, but Matt Coles, showing great maturity, cleaned up the Gladiators tail. His three wickets saw Kent through to a valuable victory.

Kent’s victory was their second of the competition and enabled them to leapfrog Gloucestershire, who have now won just once in four games, in the South Group table.

Picture:Getty Images