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Spitfires downed in bad light at Hove

Wednesday 3rd June 2009

Joe Denly top-scored with an unbeaten 32 in a losing cause

Twenty20 Cup, South Group. Hove.
Sussex 131 for three after 20 overs (Smith 69, Yardy 21, Cook 1-18) beat Kent 61 without loss (Denly 32*, Stevens 27*) by 2 runs D/L Method.
By Mark Pennell
KENT had their chances of a vital Twenty20 Cup win wiped out by floodlight failure at Hove when the umpires abandoned the game nine overs from the scheduled close with Spitfires on 61 without loss, yet crucially two behind on the Duckworth/ Lewis method.
A generator fuel pump failure at the North End of the ground meant that the eight floodlights near to at Cromwell Road remained unlit all night despite the best efforts of the engineers.
Knowing that, Kent“s acting skipper Martin van Jaarsveld elected to bat second after winning the toss thinking the odds would be stacked in Kent“s favour, and so they were as Joe Denly (32*) with five fours and Darren Stevens (27*) with three boundaries made a brisk start.
But, for only the second time in their shortened pursuit, Kent fell behind the asking rate in the 11th over when home skipper Michael Yardy conceded only two runs.
He then called up paceman Robin Martin-Jenkins from the gloomier end of the ground and, after two debates, umpires Vanburn Holder and Rob Bailey elected to take the teams off as the light was unsafe.
The decision gifted Sussex a win that had looked unlikely for much of the night after Sharks had managed to muster only 131 for three from their 20 overs on a dusty, slow pitch being used for the third time this season.
West Indies“ all-rounder Dwayne Smith held their innings together with a powerful unbeaten 69, from 59 balls and with three fours and three sixes, but again Kent only had themselves to blame.
Smith was dropped on one by van Jaarsveld at mid-on then, when on 44, Robbie Joseph spilt a low chance at mid-wicket to let Smith off the hook for a second time.
Simon Cook bowled an excellent four-over stint of one for 18, figures that would have been even better but for conceding 11 off his final over.
Afterwards a phlegmatic van Jaarsveld said: “I think we needed to level the playing field at the start of the game by maybe having a 10-overs a side game from the start.
“The way it (the floodlight failure) was explained to us earlier I think this was always going to happen at the back end of the evening.
“I think the boys did really well keeping us ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis and in fairness to Yards (Yardy) I“d have probably done exactly the same as he did once we slipped behind the asking rate.
“He bought a seamer on, the umpires then took us off and it was game over for us.”
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