Skip to main content

Northeast knock sees Spitfires home against Surrey at Beckenham

Friday 29th May 2015

Men’s First Team

Sam Northeast's 96 off 47 balls with seven sixes, thrilled a 5,000 crowd as Kent Spitfires beat Surrey by 23 runs in the NatWest T20 Blast derby at The County Ground, Beckenham.

Northeast was joined by Fabian Cowdrey, who hit 42 from 32 balls, in a thunderous third wicket stand of 98 in nine overs and Kent’s eventual 193 for eight – their highest T20 score against Surrey – proved enough as the visitors ended on 170 for eight.

Moises Henriques, the Australia all-rounder making his Surrey debut, struck four sixes in a 47-ball 63, after also starring with 2 for 24 with the ball, but Kent’s bowlers were always in control and an asking rate of 13 an over for the last five overs, with half their side out, was too much for them.

Kent’s win, their third in four games, puts them back on top of the South Group table and immediately puts behind them a defeat against Middlesex at Lord’s 24 hours earlier.

It was a T20-best score by the Kent captain and it was an innings of the highest quality.

Both openers, Jason Roy and Steve Davies, were lost in the first over of Surrey’s chase. Roy, having hit Matt Coles for two offside fours from the second and third balls of the innings, was leg-before to the fourth and Kumar Sangakkara, anxious to get off the mark, called for a sharp single to square leg and saw Northeast’s diving underarm throw score a direct hit on the stumps to run out Davies before he had faced a ball.

Sangakkara pulled sixes off Mitch Claydon and Calum Haggett but his quickfire 34 ended when he skied Darren Stevens’s medium pace to deep mid off where Haggett judged the swirling catch extremely well.

Sri Lankan great Sangakkara was dismissed in exactly the same fashion by Stevens in the LV= County Championship game between the sides earlier in the week on the same ground. Perhaps Sangakkara will be forever known as ‘Stevo’s bunny’ in these parts.

Henriques, who had pulled Claydon for six early in his innings, launched further sixes off Cowdrey and Stevens over long off, but Surrey’s chances were all but gone by the time he hit Coles straight to deep cover in the 19thover.

Haggett, despite being hit for six by Henriques in his final over, was the pick of Kent’s attack and deservedly picked up the scalp of Azhar Mahmood, just after he had smashed Cowdrey straight for two sixes in the 16thover to keep Surrey’s fading hopes alive. The final over, from Claydon, began with Surrey needing 30 and, by then, Kent were home and dry.

Kent’s innings, which began 20 minutes later than the scheduled 5.30pm start time due to a heavy shower, was given explosive early impetus by Northeast and Joe Denly following the fall of Daniel Bell-Drummond, caught down the legside for 5 in the second over.

The third over, bowled byMahmood, disappeared for 24 runs as Northeast lifted a no ball over mid wicket for six and then thumped the ensuing free hit in the same direction for four.

Denly drove Matt Dunn over long on for six and, next ball, hit him for a one-bounce four wide on mid on as Kent’s 50 arrived in the fourth over. At 51, however, Denly pulled Tom Curran to deep mid wicket and his dismissal for 20 slowed Kent’s advance for a short while.

Sam Billings, having driven Henriques sumptuously past mid off for four, then attempted something extravagant to the next ball and skied a simple catch to short mid on and, at the end of the six-over powerplay, Kent were 60 for three.

Northeast, joined by Cowdrey, immediately revitalised the innings by hitting Gareth Batty’s off spin high over mid wicket and long on for successive sixes and he sped towards a 22-ball fifty by slapping the next ball through square cover for four.

Cowdrey warmed to his task with a six and four off the suffering Batty and Kent’s hundred arrived in the 10thover when Northeast drove Zafar Ansari’s first ball for six.

The 150 was raised in the 14thover as the fourth wicket pair continued to score at a good lick, with Cowdrey hitting seamer James Burke for six over long on and then flicking a full toss to the long leg boundary.

Cowdrey finally toe-ended a short wide ball from Henriques to point andStevens was brilliantly caught by a diving Curran at third man for 1 before Northeast did his best to provide a big finish by swinging a free hit six off Mahmood after the former Pakistan all-rounder overstepped again and then driving Curran for another maximum as the closing overs brought the usual T20 mix of bludgeoned runs and cheap wickets.

Click here for the scorecard