Spitfires Storm to Victory in CB40 Thriller at Hove

Tuesday 23rd August 2011

Men’s First Team

Kent Spitfires have beaten Sussex Sharksby 14 runsat Hove, preventing Sussexfrom qualifyingfor the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40.

A win would have taken the Sharks through to the last four, but they will nowhave to avoid defeat to Middlesex at Lord’s on Monday to make sure.

Sussexwere cruising towards a target of 217 at 76 without loss after 10 overs until they suffered a collapse of four wickets for seven runs in three overs.

Just before the slide, Darren Stevens had both openers, Ed Joyce and Chris Nash, dropped by Martin van Jaarsveld off successive deliveries.

The home sidefailed to make the most of their reprieves. Joyce, who had dominated the opening stand with a 34-ball 49, was caught behind offStevens and in the next over van Jaarsveld, anxious to atone, ran out Lou Vincent.

Stevens then had Nash lbw with one that nipped back and Sussex were 83 for four when Murray Goodwin sliced Adam Ball to the finer of the two backward points.

Michael Yardy and Joe Gatting again turned the game towards the Sharks with a fifth-wicket stand of50 in nine overs.But Gatting was run out by Azhar Mahmood for 34, Ben Brown was caught behind, and Michael Yardy walked down the wicket and was stumped for 23.

Against tight Kent fielding, and some clever off-spin from Adam Riley, it was too much for the late order, even though Wayne Parnell hit 40.

After Kent chose to bat on a pitch with some nip and bounce,Chris Liddle broke through in the second over when he pushed one across Joe Denly and had him caught behind.

Daniel Bell-Drummond, opening in place of the injured Rob Key, produced some eye-catching cover-drives in his 28-delivery 30, but he was too close to the ball when he cut Liddle to Gatting in the covers.

The best Kent innings came from in-form Azhar Mahmood, whose 58 from 53 balls included eight fours and a six.

He was out when he tried to hit Monty Panesar to leg and got a leading edge, but Kent were reasonably satisfied at 120 for three at the halfway stage of their innings.

However, the remaining key Kentplayers failed to fire.Stevens was lbw to a quicker delivery from Yardy and van Jaarsveld was caught at long-off for 31 when he tried to push up the scoring rate.

It was the first of six wickets to fall for 65 runs, as Panesar and Parnell each finished with three.

Kent, all out for 216 to the last ball of the 40th over, were underdogs at that stage but fought back with the ball toseal an impressive victory.

Click here for the ECB Scorecard

Kent Spitfires' next fixture will be a 50 over match against India on Friday at Canterbury. This match has sold out, but there will be one final opportunity to see Kent Spitfires at home this season –onBank Holiday Monday, 29th August,when they face Derbyshire Falcons at the St Lawrence Ground.

Tickets are available for this CB40 fixture, which will start at 1.45pm. Discounts areavailable for advanced purchase, print at home tickets click here to book. Tickets can also be purchased by phoning Kent Cricket on 01227 456 886 and selecting option 1, or from the Kent Cricket Shop at the St Lawrence Ground.

Photo by Sarah Ansell sarahcanterbury,com