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Stevens and Tredwell inspire Kent’s win at Lord’s

Tuesday 26th May 2009

Darren Stevens cracked a stunning, unbeaten 59

By Mark Pennell

Twenty20 Cup, Southern Group, Lord“s

MIDDLESEX Panthers failed to shine under the new retractable floodlights at Lord“s as Kent opened their Twenty20 Cup win account for 2009 with Wednesday night“s impressive 62-run triumph.
Chasing an unlikely victory target of 192, Middlesex could only muster 129 for eight in their 20 overs with a modest top-score of 22 from their captain Shaun Udal as Spitfires, with Ryan McLaren back in the fold, bowled impressively.
Robbie Joseph, Simon Cook, Azhar Mahmood and James Tredwell each took two wickets apiece, Tredwell was again the star turn with 2-14 in his four overs as Middlesex limped in.
Kent“s hugely impressive total of 191 for three was built around three partnerships, each of which seemingly grew more impressive the longer the innings went on.
Despite losing captain Rob Key for a duck to the fourth ball of the night, held brilliantly, one-handed at mid-off by Dawid Malan, the Spitfires laid a decent enough base through Joe Denly (17) and Martin van Jaarsveld, who added 54 in seven overs until Denly holed out to long-off to give Shaun Udal his only wicket of the night.
Geraint Jones came in at No4 to improvise impishly ala Alan Knott, he cantered to 30 from 18 balls for his part in a second-wicket stand that added 60 in seven overs before Jones sliced a drive to deep cover where former team-mate Neil Dexter saved six by taking a comfortable catch.
It gave Alan Richardson respectable figures of 2-25 yet proved to be the Panthers final success of the night as van Jaarsveld cut loose in tandem with Darren Stevens to add an unbroken 76 from 35 balls – a Kent cup record for the fourth wicket.
Van Jaarsveld played majestically and, after reaching a 38-ball 50, he went on to equal his competition best with an unbeaten 75 with 11 fours though it was Stevens who took centre stage with some impressive hitting.
Playing his first innings since breaking a finger again Glamorgan“s Garnett Kruger three weeks ago, Stevens batted as though he“d never been away; cracking 18 off one Tyron Henderson over and then 16 off his next he moved to a 21-ball 50 with nine fours and a six.
True enough, Stevens had two slices of good luck. He was dropped when on 10 and 36, firstly by Udal off a fierce drive at cover then rather more easily by Danny Evans at short third-man. Yet it was no more than Stevens deserved as he accelerated Kent“s scoring rate to an impressive 9.95 an over to finish unbowed on 59 from 26 deliveries.