Kent edged out by India in final over thriller

Saturday 27th August 2011

Men’s First Team

Tour Match

Kent Spitfires lost out in a tight finish at the St Lawrence ground on Friday night, with India edging home the t20 game by just five runs.

Joe Denly finished on the losing side despite posting a maiden t20 century as India came up on the rails to clinch a five-run win over Kent in Canterbury on a day hampered by rain.

Despite heavy thunder storms the game eventually got underway at 7.30pm.

Heavy rain led to the loss of 60 overs but, much to the delight of a sell-out crowd of 7,000, the players emerged for a t20 clash under ICC rules some five-and-a-half hours after the designated start time.

Bowling first after winning the toss, Kent restricted the tourists to 164 for 6 from their 20 overs and then set about pursuing victory at the rate of 8.25 an over.

Kent Spitfires made a bright start through Daniel Bell-Drummond, who clubbed four and a six in a cameo stay before swishing across the line to be bowled by R P Singh.

Experienced second-wicket partners Joe Denly and Martin van Jaarsveld (17) added 60 in 8.3 overs before van Jaarsveld top edged an attempted sweep against Ravi Ashwin to be caught at short fine-leg by Rahul Dravid, who ran from slip.

Denly, invigorated after poor early season form and injury, clattered a 40-ball half-century and went on to play a match-defining innings, his t20 career-best, full of powerful cuts, pulls and drives.

With 18 needed from the last two overs, R P Singh committed the cardinal sin of overstepping for a no ball, from the subsequent free hot Denly scampered two to reach his maiden t20 hundred from 67 balls, with eight fours and two sixes.

Denly lost his off stump attempting to slog sweep the next delivery then Sam Northeast was run out having missed three successive ball and, in attempting to hit a winning six from the final delivery, Darren Stevens was yorked by Munaf Patel allowing India to celebrate their

The tourists had made a dreadful start to the match by losing opener Parthiv Patel for one when nicking a push drive against David Balcombe to Kent keeper and captain, Geraint Jones.

But former Kent batsman Rahul Dravid, who starred for the county in 2000, teamed up with Virat Kohli to add 49 for the second wicket until Dravid miscued a pull shot against teenager left-armer Adam Ball to be caught at mid-on for 15.

A third-wicket stand of 69 in 8.1 overs ended when Rohit Sharma advanced down the pitch aiming to drive rookie spinner Adam Riley only to york himself and make it 122 for three.

Kohli charged on to reach a 38-ball 50 with seven fours but, having hit three sixes seven fours, he called for a second run after Denly’s slight misfield at deep mid-wicket and despite diving for the line was comfortably run out.

M S Dhoni marched in bristling with intent only to pull his first delivery from James Tredwell into the hands of Stevens at mid-wicket then Tredwell struck again by bowling Suresh Raina for four to make it 148 for six.

Ravi Ashwin came in to club 23 from 12 balls, but the asking rate of 8.25 proved just too much for the host county.

Umpires: Lloyds, B V Taylor.

Kent: Denly, Bell-Drummond, van Jaarsveld (C), Stevens, Northeast, Jones (W), Ball, Tredwell, Coles, Balcombe, Riley.

India: P Patel, Dravid, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Raina, Dhoni (C/W), A Mishra, Ashwin, Singh, M Patel, Kumar.

Result: India 164 for 6 (20 overs), Kent 159 for 5 (20 overs). India won by 5 runs

Click here for the ECB Match Report

Rahul Dravid delighted to be awarded cap

Rahul Dravid received his county cap for Kent on Friday evening, eleven years after joining Canterbury as an overseas signing.

Dravid was delighted, commenting; "There have been so many great players that have played county cricket for Kent and I'm honoured to have been one of them."

Dravid's time with Kent yielded 1,221 runs from 16 matches at an average of 55.50 runs.

Commenting on Joe Denly’s century in the match against India, Dravid said; "Denly showed today what a talent he is and that century was built on good proper cricket shots. He managed to place the ball in areas to rotate the strike whilst hitting the big shots as and when it was required."

Photo by Sarah Ansell and Ron Gaunt