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Kent cruise past Warwickshire

Monday 13th August 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent threw Group C of the Clydesdale Bank 40 wide open by beating leaders Warwickshire by six wickets on a tricky Edgbaston pitch.

The Spitfires skittled Warwickshire for just 92, their third lowest one-day score at their home ground, inside 31 overs and got home with 19.4 overs to spare after an early wobble.

Kent's win took them level with Warwickshire on points but the Bears still lead the table by virtue of an extra win.

Warwickshire's decision to play this match on a used and grassy pitch, which will also host Tuesday's match between England Lions and Australia A, played straight into the hands of Kent's quartet of seamers who all extracted movement from the surface after captain Rob Key decided to bowl first.

Darren Stevens took four for 25 to give him figures of nine for 61 in two days following a five-wicket haul in the victory over Derbyshire at Canterbury on Sunday.

Former Pakistan seamer Azhar Mahmood and Mark Davies undermined Warwickshire's innings by taking two wickets apiece in reducing the hosts to 15 for four at one stage.

With Varun Chopra and Chris Woakes called up by England Lions and Steffan Piolet sidelined by a hamstring injury, Warwickshire's batting looked lightweight.

Laurie Evans gave the pitch a long stare after he edged Azhar to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones in the second over. William Porterfield clipped Azhar to midwicket and Jim Troughton nibbled Davies to Stevens at slip.

The Stevens-Davies combination accounted for Darren Maddy, who was caught pushing forward, and it was left to Rikki Clarke to prevent the innings from total disintegration after Stevens and Simon Cook joined the attack.

Clarke, playing as a specialist batsman because of a torn abdominal muscle, played a restrained unbeaten innings of 35 from 66 balls but only Paul Best supported him for long.

Best straight drove off-spinner Adam Riley for the only six of Warwickshire's innings before he edged to first slip and Stevens snuffed out the innings when he pinned Chris Wright lbw.

There was little chance of Kent repeating their 10-wicket win over Warwickshire at Canterbury in June but they were given a solid start by Key and Sam Billings before Billings edged Chris Wright to second slip.

Key went lbw to Keith Barker and Stevens and Sam Northeast perished to Darren Maddy's accurate medium pace. But Azhar, who straight drove Maddy for a six, and Alex Blake guided Kent home with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 39.

Click here for the scorecard

Photo: Sarah Ansell