Spitfires remain unbeaten after low-scoring win

Thursday 28th May 2009

Robbie Joseph was man-of-the-match after taking 2-14

By Mark Pennell

Kent Spitfires v Middlesex Panthers, Twenty20 Cup Southern Group.
SPITFIRES completed a comfortable cup double over the Panthers with a second win inside 72 hours as Kent secured a four-wicket win in Canterbury to remain unbeaten after three starts in the Southern qualifying group.
Chasing a lacklustre Middlesex total of 104 for six, Kent cantered home with 10 balls to spare with Darren Stevens, the hero of Wednesday night“s win at Lord“s, still at the crease unbeaten with 14 as Azhar Mahmood hit the winning boundary.
Though Kent lost both openers within 11 balls, both to Alan Richardson who ended the night with 3-29, they still eased to victory courtesy of 31 in 43 balls from Ryan McLaren on his season“s home debut.
Martin van Jaarsveld also chipped in with 28 from 24 balls, his four fours and a six almost matched the tally of the entire Panthers side.
Batting first in bright sunshine and on a pitch of good pace and bounce, Middlesex inexplicably struggled for runs and boundaries as only three of their order limped into double figures.
Former Kent favourite Tyron Henderson top scored with a subdued 31 not out from 37 balls and hit the only six of the Panthers innings, but even the man-mountain South African struggled to find the boundary in a lethargic performance.
Middlesex captain Shaun Udal kept him company for a while with 22 from 12 balls while Dawid Malan (16) also crept into double figures on a bad night for the Panthers.
Robbie Joseph extracted good pace and bounce from the Nackington Road End to take the first two wickets to fall and his figures of 2-14 would have been even better but for two no balls.
He had Nick Compton caught at point, then dangerman Owais Shah miscued to wide mid-on and, once Justin Kemp removed Eoin Morgan to a catch in the deep from his first ball of the night, Middlesex had already lost the heart of their batting.
They at least limped through to bat out their overs, but an asking rate of less than six an over was never likely to severely test the high-powered Kent batting order

Photograph: ARPics