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Northeast hits 4th T20 fifty of 2016 in defeat at Surrey

Friday 29th July 2016

Men’s First Team

Kent Spitfires skipper Sam Northeast smashed his fourth T20 fifty of the summer as his side fell 37 runs short of a Jason Roy-inspired Surrey in front of 25,500 at the Kia Oval.

Both sides bowed out as Essex claimed the fourth and final quarter-final in the South Group thanks to a washout at Chelmsford.

England limited-overs opener Roy hit an unbeaten 120 from 62 balls in an club record opening stand of 187 in 17.2 overs with Australian big-hitter Aaron Finch, who scored 79.

In reply, Kent could only manage 175 for 7 and were never in contention after slipping initially to 111 for 6 before Northeast and Will Gidman, who scored 30 not out off 20 balls, gave the final score some respectability.

Northeast hit two sixes and five fours in a 44-ball 59 before becoming the seventh man out after a strong start fizzled out.

In-form opener Daniel Bell-Drummond slammed six fours while scoring 31 of the first 35 runs, off just 17 balls, before skying Sam Curran to mid off.

Joe Denly was run out for 20 and Sam Billings stumped off a deliberate wide for 2 when Gareth Batty, the Surrey captain and off spinner, saw the batsman coming and fired one down the legside for Ben Foakes to whip off the bails.

Chris Morris bowled Alex Blake for 19 and, later in the over, the 13thof Kent’s innings, saw Darren Stevens superbly held by Roy as he sprinted in from deep cover to take a low catch sprawling forward.

Roy was the catcher again, in the next over, when Matt Coles sliced Azhar Mahmood to square cover on the boundary.

The magnificent stand between Roy and Finch was just five runs short of equalling the highest partnership in English domestic T20 cricket, the 192 between Kevin O’Brien and Hamish Marshall for Gloucestershire against Middlesex at Uxbridge in 2011. It was, however, by some distance the biggest stand in the competition this season.

Finch eventually launched Mitch Claydon – the only Kent bowler to keep the run-scoring under any sort of check – to Denly at deep mid wicket in search of a fifth six. He also hit four fours in his 51-ball knock.

It was simply a mark of Roy’s brilliance, indeed, that Finch’s innings seemed pedestrian in comparison. Roy’s fifty took 29 balls, Finch’s 38, yet it was not just his quicker scoring but the crispness of his strokeplay and the imagination he showed to pick up runs in a 360-degree arc that set Roy apart.

Finch’s departure, to the second ball of the 18thover, was the prelude to a final thrash which also brought the wickets of Morris, Tom Curran and Sam Curran, who was run out trying to pinch a third run for Roy from the last ball of the innings.


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