Skip to main content

Northeast and Bell-Drummond fire as Spitfires beat Essex Eagles

Thursday 18th June 2015

Men’s First Team

Spitfires skipper Sam Northeast continued his rich vein of NatWest T20 Blast form by scoring a stunning 90 as Kent overcame neighbours Essex by six wickets in Canterbury to move up to second spot in the South Group.

Man-of-the match Northeast plundered 12 fours and a six to overtake Gloucestershire’s Michael Klinger as the tournament’s top scorer as Kent reached 174 for victory with five balls to spare.

Speaking after his side’s success in eight starts, Northeast said: “It was a very satisfying chase, especially after we fell just short against Hampshire last week. To get back to winning ways was very important and no better place to do it than here.

“We play on some really good pitches here at Canterbury, we want to play an attacking style of cricket and these wickets are allowing our batters to do that. Daniel [Bell-Drummond] played a superb knock and got us off to a really good start, which we needed when chasing 170-odd.”

Kent had set off in pursuit at an asking rate of 8.7 an over but, with only five on the board, Joe Denly (1) clipped a full ball from Reece Topley to Ryan ten Doeschate at mid-wicket to bring in-form Northeast to the middle.

The Kent skipper opened his account with a straight six off David Masters and Daniel Bell-Drummond doled out similar treatment against Graham Napier to raise Kent’s 50 after five overs.

Bell-Drummond reached his second T20 50 of the campaign from 33 balls with seven fours and a six as Kent reached 85 for one after 10 overs and the 100 in the 12th.

Northeast went past 50 for the fifth time in the competition from 33 balls, but the record second-wicket partnership in these matches worth 122, ended when Napier yorked Bell-Drummond for a completion-best 61.

Northeast clipped Shaun Tait for two boundaries to third man to move Kent ahead for the first time, only for Darren Stevens (11) to sky a top-edged paddle to long leg against Ravi Bopara’s gentle medium-pace.

With 19 needed from 12 balls, Northeast plundered 18 off Tait’s next five balls but, with the scores level, clipped the last ball of the penultimate over to mid-wicket to depart for a stunning 90 from 52 balls. Alex Blake duly won it with a single from the very next delivery.

Batting first, Eagles were given a flying start by Kiwi Jesse Ryder who clubbed six sixes, five of them in succession off Kent seamer Mitch Claydon, during a 13 ball cameo worth 26.

Ryder’s stay ended when a looping slower ball from Kent’s Twenty20 debutant Ivan Thomas, hit him on the boot leaving umpire Neil Bainton little alternative but to uphold the lbw appeal.

Mark Pettini hooked one for six in the next over from Matt Coles that raised the Essex 50 and took the visitors to 59 for one come the end of their six powerplay overs.

Kent introduced spinners Fabian Cowdrey and James Tredwell in a bid to stem the flow of boundaries and, in his first over, the latter accounted for Tom Westley (13), who was bowled through his legs when attempting to sweep leaving Essex on 87 for two at the innings mid-point.

The visitors moved into three figures with a Bopara boundary in the 12th over, bowled by Stevens, while Pettini posted his 36-ball half-century with six fours and a six. It was his second in this season’s Blast.

Bopara lifted Stevens into the Frank Woolley stand for six to move to 31 but Stevens had his revenge by having the IPL bat stumped by Ryan Davies when he ran down the pitch attempting the same shot later in the 15th over. He and Pettini had added 53 in six overs.

Coles struck a crucial blow for the hosts by having ten Doeschate (2) caught by Blake as the South African IPL star attempted to clear the ropes at long on.

Thomas, the Spitfires rookie, completed an impressive four-over stint with figures of one for 22, conceding only one boundary and sending down nine dot balls.

James Foster raised Eagles’ 150 with an audacious swept six from outside off stump that just cleared Cowdrey on the ropes at ‘cow corner’, but Claydon rearranged the stumps when Foster tried it a second time.

Pettini’s stay for 56 ended in the penultimate over when he miscued to Stevens at deep mid-wicket to give Coles two for 28 as Essex ended with something of a whimper on 173 for six.

Ten Doeschate, the visiting skipper said: “I was a little surprised we didn’t put the pedal down a little bit earlier with the bat when we had a load of wickets in hand, but I can only assume that Kent bowled very well. I know Coles did when I faced him.

“I thought 175 seemed reasonable, but Sam and Daniel batted fantastically. That ends our run of three wins and our heads are under the water again, it just means our next game is even more important.”

Click here for the scorecard

Next up at is the visit of world champs Australia for a four-day game next Thursday. Buy tickets:

Super Northeast guides Kent to thrilling victory

NORTHBEAST! Kent County Cricket Club – Official's Captain Fantastic smashes 90 to beat Essex County Cricket Club by six wickets

Posted by NatWest T20 Blast on Thursday, 18 June 2015