Spitfires down Surrey to reach cup quarter finals

Saturday 27th June 2009

Martin van Jaarsvld top-scored in Beckenham with 64

Kent v Surrey Twenty20 Cup South Division, Beckenham.
By Mark Pennell

KENT moved into the knock-out stages of the Twenty20 Cup for the fourth successive season and booked a home quarter-final tie after beating Surrey by 16-runs in Beckenham to finish top of the South Division.
Spitfires held their nerve against an experimental Brown Caps side to defend their 20-over total of 184 for seven, built around a top score of 64 from Martin van Jaarsveld after the hosts won the toss and elected to bat.
Already unable to qualify for the knock-out stages, Surrey elected to rest eight senior squad members including captain Mark Butcher and former England bat Mark Ramprakash.
The Brown Caps gave cup debuts to Laurie Evans and Simon King while Stewart Walters skippered the side for the first time.
Once again England Lions bat Joe Denly gave Spitfires a flying start cracking two boundaries off the opening over from Chris Jordan in reaching 19 from 17 balls.
Jordan had his revenge in his second over when Denly, in aiming an ambitious pull at a good-length ball found a top edge that skied to deep fine leg where keeper Gary Wilson ran back to take a good running catch.
Martin van Jaarsveld and Rob Key joined forces to post the Kent 50 from 37 balls at the very end of the powerplay overs but, three runs on Key, tried a cross-bat drive against off-spinner Matthew Spriegel and chipped a simple catch to short third-man to go for 17.
Van Jaarsveld marched on to a 34 ball half-century with nine fours and took his boundary count to 11 in a top-score of 64 before losing his off stump to Chris Jordan after missing an outrageous paddle sweep. It ended a third wicket stand with Jones that added 96 in nine overs – Kent“s second best partnership in this season“s cup campaign.
Jones, dropped on eight by Jordan at deep mid-wicket, recovered from a shaky start to add 47 from 30 balls with five fours and two sixes but he missed out on a second 50 for the season when clipping a length ball from Spriegel into the hands of mid-wicket.
In an eventful 18th over Darren Stevens blasted a straight six off Spriegel into the press marquee but holed out to Jordan at cow corner in trying to clear the ropes again off the following delivery. Justin Kemp was stumped next ball for duck to give Spriegel figures of four for 33.
Left-hander Ryan McLaren survived the hat-trick ball by pushing a quick single and contributed a brisk, unbeaten 18 from 10 balls while fellow all-rounder Azhar Mahmood scored only three before holing out to long off against Pedro Collins as Kent mustered their second best cup total for 2009.
Without top-of-the-order big-guns like Scott Newman and James Benning, Surrey were always likely to struggle to match an asking rate of 9.2 an over.
In fairness their rookie side made a decent fist of the chase with six batsmen making it into the 20s but no batsman went on to match van Jaarsveld“s excellence as McLaren bagged four for 37.
Kent experimented by opening the attack with Stevens, but once he leaked 11 in his first over, Key switched to Plan B and introduced Amjad Khan who trimmed the off stump of Walters as he backed away to make room.
McLaren opened his account by having Jordan caught at mid-off off a leading edge then Michael Brown skied an Azhar Mahmood slower ball to James Tredwell at mid-on.
Chris Murtagh“s cameo 28 ended when he chanced a single to mid-wicket only to be run out by van Jaarsveld“s direct hit and, with the asking rate up to 11 an over, Grant Elliott saw Justin Kemp run in to claim a diving catch at long-on against the bowling of Simon Cook.
Spriegel, Evans, Wilson and Linley perished in a futile quest for late runs as Kent deservedly wrapped up their seventh qualifying win.