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Spitfires downed by Glamorgan despite Billings and Denly record stand

Colin Ingram’s unbeaten 95 steered Glamorgan to a thrilling three-wicket win despite unbeaten centuries from Sam Billings and Joe Denly in a record fourth-wicket stand in a rain-reduced Royal London One-Day Cup at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

The Kent duo added 170 together, surpassing the previous List A record against Glamorgan of 146 by Chris Tavare and Alan Ealham, also in Canterbury, in 1980.

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In a game reduced to 42 overs per side following the loss of 90 minutes to drizzle midway through Kent’s innings, Ingram proved the bedrock of the Welsh reply, hitting four fours and six sixes to clinch victory with seven balls to spare.

Chasing a revised target of 293 from their 42 overs, Glamorgan openers Jacques Rudolph and David Lloyd took a patient approach as they pursued at an asking rate of almost seven-an-over.

With the floodlights on in relative gloom, the pair played themselves in before pressing the run-rate accelerator toward the end of their nine-over powerplay.

Lloyd, the right-hander with an unfeasibly wide stance, was quick to straight drive Matt Coles, then pulled viciously for another boundary when the Kent paceman dropped short.

Rudolph (24) was caught on the sweep at deep square leg from James Tredwell’s second delivery of the day to make it 63 for one and Tredwell should also have removed Will Bragg without scoring, only for Billings to miss a sharp stumping chance.

Lloyd moved to a 48-ball 50 with a pulled four off David Griffiths and Bragg upped the tempo further with a 56-ball half-century with five fours and a six.

The pair added 86 before Lloyd (65), in attempting a flat-bat pull against Coles picked out Latham at square leg then, two balls later Bragg (52) was caught at mid-wicket when attempting a reverse lap against Tredwell.

Tredwell took a third wicket having Aneurin Donald (9) caught at long-off but Glamorgan’s fifth-wicket partners Colin Ingram and Chris Cooke combined to rekindle the run chase and, with 10 overs required, had reduced their victory target to 86 runs.

Ingram, the elegant left-hander, continued to show consummate timing in reaching a 30-ball 50 with three sixes but, with 55 needed Cooke (21) needlessly heaved across the line to be bowled by Coles then, with the target reduced to 36 Graham Wagg (8) was run out by Coles’s under-arm shy to the non-striker’s end after Ingram demanded a single.

With three overs remaining Craig Meschede (8) ran himself out attempting two to deep cover, but Griffiths’s over ended with Ingram clubbing four over point and a six into the building site.

In the penultimate over, Ingram steered another brace of boundaries to third man leaving Timm van der Gugten to win it.

Batting first on a slow pitch that had had the sting taken out of it by Saturday’s thunderstorms, Kent’s openers Tom Latham (9) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (31) fell.

Latham flicked Wagg to long leg before Bell-Drummond nicked to the keeper after Michael Hogan got one to seam away using the Canterbury slope.

Denly might have joined them back in the hutch when, with his score on 11, he sliced to point where Dean Cosker downed a tough overhead chance.

Sam Northeast (26) pulled a length-ball from Van der Gugten straight into the hands of deep mid-wicket just before Denly posted a 64-ball 50 with four fours and a six.

Rain arrived just before 1pm, leading to the loss of eight overs, forcing Kent to up their tempo after the 2.30pm re-start.

Billings also enjoyed a let off when, on 27, Hogan dropped a skier at mid-off off the bowling off Meschede and took advantage by scampering to a 36-ball 50 with a six off Cosker that flew onto the Kent players’ balcony.

The milestones continued when Denly moved to the fifth List A hundred of his career with eight fours and a brace of sixes.

Billings continued to show why the Delhi Daredevils recruited him for the Indian Premier League with a stunning display of clean, inventive hitting. His 53-ball 100 came with a the biggest six of the day off Hogan and took just over an hour.

The hosts scored at 14 an over from the final five overs. In the end though, it all proved to no avail.


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