Kent suffer first FP t20 defeat of the summer at the Rose Bowl

Thursday 3rd June 2010

Hampshire Royals v Kent Spitfires
FPt20 – South Division
3 June 2010
Rose Bowl, Southampton

Hampshire Royals win by 5 wickets

Kent 114-9, 20 overs
Stevens 36, Denly 15, Azhar 11
Abdul Razzaq 2-16, Wood 2-17, Briggs 1-18

Hampshire 117-5, 19.4 overs
Ervine 31, Adams 19, Carberry 18
Tredwell 2-19, Stevens 2-20, Cook 1-23

The Kent Spitfires were punished for a disappointing batting display as they fell to their first defeat of the 2010 FPt20 competition, by five wickets, at the hands of the Hampshire Royals, under the lights at the Rose Bowl.

Despite winning the toss, and opting to bat first, Kent struggled from the off as Rob Key (pictured) was trapped in front first ball by opposite captain Dimitri Mascarenhas. Then, after hitting Abdul Razzaq“s first two balls for four, Martin van Jaarsveld was run out for 11 going for a third run, and last night“s hero Geraint Jones followed soon after for a four ball duck to leave the visitors reeling on 20-3 inside four overs.

The fall of Jones meant the in-form Darren Stevens strode to the crease and he immediately looked to be aggressive but the problem was still at the other end as Joe Denly was caught by Neil McKenzie off the bowling of left-armer Chris Wood for 15. James Tredwell was promoted a place to steady the ship but he came and went for five to leave the Spitfires struggling on 51-5, off with less than nine over remaining.

The flow of wickets continued as Azhar Mahmood became Sean Ervine“s solitary victim after hitting two fours in his all too brief stay of 11. Six soon became seven as Matt Coles, making his t20 debut, fell to Wood for three. Stevens, at the other end, was lacking support and his stay finally came to an end as he was run out for a 34-ball 36 to extinguish any Kent hopes of posting a competitive total. The final overs were occupied by Malinga Bandara and Simon Cook as they scrambled the visitors up to 114-9.

Key again threw the new ball to Stevens for the opening over of the Hampshire reply and he performed well again, dismissing England“s World Cup winning opener Michael Lumb with his very first ball as Azhar took the catch. Cook also struck in his first over as he clean bowled former Kent batsmen Michael Carberry for 18 as the Royals stuttered to 25-2. However, Ervine took the attack to Kent. He hit Amjad Khan for three fours, off his opening over, and, in tandem with Jimmy Adams, the pair got the run chase back on track, putting on 40, before Tredwell struck to remove Adams for 19.

Ervine, a Zimbabwe international, was still there though on 29 after striking five boundaries and South African Neil McKenzie joined him at the crease. With nine overs remaining the home side required just 48 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Kent tried to turn the screw as spinners Tredwell and Bandara kept it tight. Ervine eventually succumbed to the off-spin of Tredwell for 31 as Khan took his second catch of the innings to leave the Royals requiring 42 from 45 balls with sufficient batting still in the hutch.

One of these players was Razzaq, a man famed for explosive hitting, and once he hit Bandara for successive boundaries the equation seemed even simpler with the home side needing just 21 off four overs. However, Stevens returned and again struck with his first ball as he had Razzaq caught behind by Jones for 13. Under pressure, McKenzie and Nic Pothas kept their cool as the home side required just three to win off the final over, bowled by Azhar, and once Pothas struck the fourth ball of the over for four, Kent were finally condemned to defeat.