Match Report: Lancashire vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Report: Lancashire vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires faced Lancashire at Blackpool Cricket Club in their third Metro Bank One Day Cup match of the Summer.

We’re back at Beckenham on Sunday

Middlesex are the opponents for the Spitfires’ second One Day Cup opponents at Beckenham this year:

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England Lions batter Josh Bohannon’s excellent 105 represented his maiden List A century as Lancashire brushed Kent Spitfires aside by 125 runs at Blackpool to gain revenge for last year’s Metro Bank One-Day Cup final defeat

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Kent have now lost two of their first three games in an unconvincing title defence, with Bohannon’s 117-ball innings underpinning 328 for five.

George Bell, Dane Vilas and George Balderson also added half-centuries after Lancashire were inserted. Kent List A debutant seamer Jas Singh returned an encouraging three for 74 from 10 overs. Lancashire then defended 329 with ease on a Stanley Park pitch not entirely straightforward for batting.

They put two opening round rainy No Results behind them as new ball Jack Blatherwick claimed a career best four for 52 from 10 overs in Kent’s 203 all out inside 40 overs. Bohannon moved through the gears following a circumspect start.

Kent were at their best with the new ball and deserved more early rewards. But they became increasingly ragged. They conceded only 34 runs from the first 10 overs and ensured Bohannon didn’t hit a boundary until his 36th ball – a six over long-on against Hami Qadri’s off-spin.

Bohannon’s quartet of sixes were all hit down the ground, an area opener Bell was particularly strong en-route to 71. Those two shared 112 for the second wicket from 15 for one after James Bazley – two for 46 from 10 overs – had Keaton Jennings caught at second slip.

That was one of four catches for Spitfires skipper Jack Leaning. Two of them helped debutant seamer Singh removed Vilas and Balderson caught for 51 and 57 trying to attack late on.

The 20-year-old had earlier bowled Bell following a heave to leg. Bohannon reached his century – his ninth in all senior cricket – off 113 balls shortly after Lancashire had moved to 250 for three in the 44th over.

After navigating early challenges against Bazley and new ball partner Grant Stewart, who surprisingly only bowled six overs for 17, the home innings was filled with fearless strokeplay.

Balderson reached his fifty in only 25 balls, and right at the death first year rookie pro Matty Hurst scooped his first ball over the wicketkeeper’s head for one of three fours in a six-ball unbeaten 15.

Kent then made a troubled start to their chase, slipping to 97 for four inside 20 overs. Ben Compton miscued a wide ball from Tom Bailey which seemed to stop on him to cover in the third over before Leaning was bowled by one which kept low from Blatherwick.

Alex Blake drove to mid-off against Balderson, who then had Daniel Bell-Drummond caught behind for 38 by Hurst off a skied miscue. Bell-Drummond had been released from Hundred duty with London Spirit to play and finished Kent’s top-scorer.

Fifth-wicket pair Harry Finch and Joey Evison then steadied with a 51 stand, with the latter whipping a six off Tom Aspinwall’s seam.

But their hopes were dashed by Blatherwick, who returned to the attack and claimed three wickets in eight balls, including two in two, to leave Kent floundering again at 153 for seven in the 34th over.

Finch was caught behind for 31 off an inside-edge in the 32nd before a pulling Australian Bazley top-edged his first ball to mid-off. In the next over, Evison was lbw for 30.

Left-arm spinner Jack Morley then struck twice before some entertaining hitting from last-wicket pair Singh with 19 not out and Matt Quinn was ended by Aspinwall’s maiden senior wicket – Quinn caught at deep cover by Blatherwick.

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Kent’s interim head coach Simon Cook said: “At the 30-over point in both innings, scores were pretty much the same with just two wickets in it.

“Our innings lurched a bit. We probably didn’t build enough partnerships like we saw in their innings. We also conceded too many runs in the death overs.

“It was a tough wicket. The ball was moving around a little bit. Bohannon and Vilas showed the value of having two set batters in. We didn’t get that platform to launch from.

“I thought Jas Singh’s opening spell for a guy on List A debut was magnificent. That’s exactly what this tournament is about. Yes, we want to win and to pick our best team, but it has that development background running through it.”

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