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Match Report: Sussex Sharks vs. Kent Spitfires

Thursday 20th June 2024

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Kent Spitfires faced Sussex Sharks in the ‘War of the Wealds’ at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.

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Chasing 202, Kent Spitfires were unable to keep-up with the required run rate and lost out by 31 runs at the 1st Central County Ground to Sussex Sharks.

View video scorecard

Kent’s challenge was always a daunting one, the more so after Zak Crawley was bowled by Ollie Robinson for four in the opening over.

When Marcus O’Riordan was out in the second over, edging Nathan McAndrew to first slip, everything appeared to depend on Daniel Bell-Drummond and skipper Sam Billings.

Bell-Drummond and Billings looked the part as they added 93 for the third wicket. When James Coles went for 19 in one over, and also dropped Bell-Drummond, a steepling catch, it looked a possible turning point. But Sussex captain Tymal Mills responded by bringing himself on at the other end and immediately bowled the Kent batter.

That moved Billings firmly centre stage. But in the next over he sent a lofted drive to Robinson at wide long-off and the match looked over, despite a spirited knock from Joey Evison (34 off 23) and a quick 18 from former Sussex player Harry Finch. Danny Lamb completed an impressive all-round match with figures of 3-37.

Earlier Kent, who chose to field, made a good start when they conceded just three runs off the opening two overs. The next four overs went for 19, 13, 16 and 17 as Sussex reached 68 without loss from the powerplay.

In those six overs Daniel Hughes faced just nine deliveries. Harrison Ward reached his fifty from just 24 balls, with some long hitting, both straight and to the short boundary on the left-hander’s leg side.

Kent broke through in the seventh over when Hughes, who had swung Matt Parkinson for two sixes, was well caught by Bell-Drummond at long-leg as he attempted a third. Ward followed in the next over, caught by Finch on the deep midwicket boundary. He had made 61 off 28 deliveries, with six fours and five sixes.

The Kent fightback continued when Beyers Swanepoel bowled John Simpson for three in the ninth and in the next over Tom Alsop was lbw to Parkinson for just two, a very tight decision.  When Coles gave Parkinson his third wicket, also lbw, for 21, Sussex had lost five wickets for just 36 runs.

But some late hitting by Lamb, who managed 40 from 32 balls, saw Sussex past 200.

View video scorecard

Kent head coach Matt Walker:  “It was lost in the powerplay, frankly.  We were unable to find the length which was most effective.  Xavier Bartlett showed the right length.  He was outstanding.  Their bowlers found their lengths and they were tricky early on.  A par score today was 175-180.  And they went 20 past it. It was too much.  We gave them too many runs.  There’s not much more to say.”

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