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Kent Spitfires v Lancashire Lightning: Visitors win despite Blake blast

Saturday 8th August 2015

Men’s First Team

Alex Blake's blockbuster List A career-best 89 off 56 balls was not enough as Lancashire Lightning beat Kent Spitfires in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Canterbury.

The 26-year-old smashed seven massive sixes and five boundaries before being bowled by James Faulkner after catapulting the hosts ahead of the required run rate.

Kent won the toss and fielded first with Matt Coles the pick of the bowlers, taking 4/34 in ten overs as the Lightning struck 258 for nine.

The Spitfires need to win at least two more matches to reach the quarterfinals but the reply stuttered from the start.

Joe Denly was first to go, driving hard at a wide one from Kyle Jarvis to be snaffled at slip without scoring. Daniel Bell-Drummond (30) appeared well set until a Jordan Clark yorker ricocheted via the back pad onto the base of off stump to make it 59 for two.

Sam Billings (8), driving on the charge at slow left-armer Stephen Parry, picked out Steven Croft at short extra cover then Sam Northeast (36) fenced at one from Clark (36) to be caught behind.

Fabian Cowdrey was run out for nought after both batsmen stood at the non-striker’s end and Cowdrey’s run out and Stevens soon followed when his drive on the up was well caught by Petersen at short extra cover for two.

Matt Coles (10) heaved across the line against James Faulkner to mid-on, then James Tredwell (9) became the second run out victim when Petersen’s direct hit from point left him short of his ground.

Alex Blake moved to 49 by taking 17 off four successive balls from Parry, only for Mitch Claydon (1) to chip back a return catch and leave Kent nine down.

After a 41-ball 50 with three fours and three sixes, Blake added a further four maximums in racing to 89 before being bowled when attempting a slog sweep against Faulkner.

Batting first after losing the toss Lancashire’s top order struggled on a good pitch that offered some early lateral seam movement to Kent’s new ball attack.

Ashwell Prince got off the mark with a sweetly-timed push against Mitch Claydon in the third over but, without addition, nicked an ambitious drive against Coles to James Tredwell at second slip.

In Coles’s next over Karl Brown (1) feathered a tentative push through to the keeper Billings to leave Lancashire in trouble at 25 for two at the end of their first 10-over powerplay.

Claydon gave way at the Pavilion End to Matt Hunn, who, with his second ball, had Alviro Petersen (10) caught down the leg-side by a tumbling Billings as the South African right-hander aimed to glance.

Kent should have claimed a fourth victim in the 23rd over when Liam Livingstone’s top-edged sweep off Tredwell sailed to deep mid-wicket where, somewhat inexplicably, Denly allowed a simple chance to slip through his grasp and over the ropes.

Livingstone, in-form of late in the Lancashire League and county second XI, took advantage by reaching his maiden 50 for the Lancashire first team from 56 balls and with two sixes and three fours.

Livingstone and Croft added a 100 inside 20 overs with Croft reaching his half-century 76-balls with only three fours but their 112-partnership ended soon after when Stone was caught low by a diving Stevens at point to give Hunn a second fortunate wicket.

Livingstone was only nine short of his hundred when he toe-ended a return catch to the bowler, Stevens, when attempting a ‘Dilshan scoop’, then Faulkner (4) wafted across the line of a full one from Coles to go leg before.

After a cracking 35-ball 50 with eight fours, Alex Davies holed out to deep Cover off Stevens and Parry (2) was caught behind against Coles after throwing the kitchen sink at an attempted drive. Coles, the pick of the home attack, finished with four for 34.

Clark skied to long-off to give Claydon his first wicket in the penultimate over but, given the conditions, Lancashire’s total of 258 for nine still looked a below par score.

Click here to view the scorecard

The two teams meet again next Saturday in the fourth NatWest T20 Blast quarterfinal at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence (2.30pm).

Click here to buy tickets