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Kent regain division 2 leadership despite more floodlight problems

Wednesday 26th August 2009

Sam Northeast was namedman-of-the-match

Kent Spitfires v Surrey Brown Caps, NatWest Pro40 League Division 2.
By Mark Pennell.
KENT returned to the top of the Pro40 League second division with their fourth win in five starts after holding their nerve to beat Surrey by eight runs under the Duckworth/ Lewis method in a game marred by floodlight issues.
For the second time in just over a year gusting winds around the St Lawrence ground ensured the portable floodlighting system, on hire from the ECB, had to be retracted on health and safety grounds only eight overs into the Surrey reply.
The match lasted a further 11 overs until, in very poor light, match officials George Sharp and Peter Willey abandoned the game with Surrey on 110 for five after 19.4 overs in reply to Kent“s 27-over total of 167 for six.
Once again Kent fielded an experimental side, but the rookies again came good in front of a noisy home crowd to re-take top spot in division two.
Rob Key elected to rest himself, Martin van Jaarsveld, Justin Kemp and the entire first-choice seam attack, while Joe Denly missed the game through England ODI duty in Ireland.
Even so, a spirited Spitfires display proved too good for a Surrey side in transition who wasted the clear advantage of batting second.
Kent“s total was built around an excellent 69 from 67 balls from makeshift opener Sam Northeast, who plundered nine fours in his man-of-the-match award winning innings.
He was finally dismissed in the penultimate over of the innings when aiming a cheeky flick over short, fine leg, but his score together with cameo 20s from Darren Stevens, Alex Blake and James Goodman, left Surrey facing an asking rate of 6.2 an over.
Under pressure from the off, Brown Caps lost skipper Stewart Walters (18) to Azhar Mahmood then Michael Brown holed out to deep square-leg to give Matt Coles a wicket with only his fifth delivery of the night.
Phil Edwards chipped in with the scalp of Usman Afzaal (9), caught behind off a leaden-footed drive, then acting skipper James Tredwell bowled Matt Spriegel (11) when he missed an attempted slog sweep.
In fast fading light Jonathan Batty missed his reverse sweep against Tredwell that clipped the top of off stump and soon after the umpires adjudged the light too poor to continue leaving Kent winners by only eight runs.
Kent members and supporters should please note that Friday“s LV County Championship clash between Kent and Surrey will start at noon because of Thursday night“s late finish.