Sublime Spitfires crush Durham to reach Twenty20 finals day

Sunday 26th July 2009

James Tredwell was man-of-the-match with his three for 18 return

Kent Spitfires v Durham Dynamos Twenty20 Cup quarter-final. Canterbury
By Mark Pennell
KENT eased their way to Twenty20 Cup finals day for the third season running after sweeping aside Durham Dynamos to win Monday“s quarter final in Canterbury by 56 runs.
Rob Key“s men, buoyed by an 8,000-strong partisan crowd – the biggest at St Lawrence in over a decade – cantered to victory with 16 balls to spare after dismissing the visitors for 93, their worst ever cup total.
Only Dale Benkenstein (47) and Kyle Coetzer with 12 reached double figures for the Dynamos as man-of-the-match James Tredwell, with three for 18, and two wickets apiece from cup debutant Wayne Parnell and all-rounder Azhar Mahmood helped Spitfires wrap up the win.
Three of Durham“s top five bagged ducks, including Aussie opener David Warner who made the 18,000 mile round trip from Perth especially for the game only to witness a superb fielding display by the 2007 cup winners.
And once Ryan McLaren had skipper Will Smith caught at point to make it 19 for five the game as a competitions was as good as over as early as the eight over as Simon Cook, with one for 10, and Mahmood with two for 14, impressed with the ball.
Having won the toss, Kent skipper Key elected to bat first in good light but on a slow St Lawrence pitch and he duly joined forces with opening partner Joe Denly to post 69 for the first wicket – Spitfires“ best in the competition this summer.
The pair kept the boundary count ricking over nicely with at least on four in the opening six overs and the opening six of the night, a pull over the ropes at mid-wicket by Key off the bowling of Liam Plunkett.
The stand ended after 8.1 overs when Denly, having hit 31 from 30 balls including four fours, clipped to long-on against Ben Harmison to see Mitch Claydon run in from the ropes to take a fine low catch.
Four balls later Key“s 24-ball stay for 30 ended in identical fashion when he too proffered a simpler chance top Claydon to make it 69 for two.
Geraint Jones (2) fell to a third umpire referral for a run out after Martin van Jaarsveld pushed out to square leg against off-spinner Gareth Breese and called for a chancy single, Jones was a foot short of his ground when Harmison“s throw arrived with keeper Phil Mustard who whipped off the bails.
Van Jaarsveld (14) failed to make amends when, two overs later, he reverse swept against Breese only to pick out Claydon inside the circle at short third man where the tall seamer took another athletic low catch.
Big-hittters Darren Stevens and Justin Kemp took time to play themselves in and pushed the ball into the gaps to post the Kent 100 after 14.1 overs.
Kemp celebrated with his first four, a cut to third man, and his first six off the next ball over the ropes at mid-wicket but Harmison“s eventful over, the 15th of the innings, ended with Darren Stevens (8) holing out to long-off where Dale Benkenstein judged the catch nicely on the ropes.
But, with his score on 20 from 18 balls, Kemp also picked out Benkenstein at long off to give Neil Killeen his first wicket of the evening and make it 115 for six.
Killeen blotted his copybook by leaking 17 in his final over. Ryan McLaren plundered two fours on his way to an unbeaten 21 while Azhar Mahmood clubbed another six over long-on and down the bank toward Nackington Road before he sliced a drive to deep cover to go for 14.
Having leaked 11 runs in his first over left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell came back well to concede only 10 more in his last three overs, while Harmison finished respectable figures of three for 24 as Durham restricted the two-time finalists to a scoring rate of 7.45/over .