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Tredwell’s six wickets sweep aside The Panthers

Saturday 2nd May 2009

Friends Provident Trophy Southgate.

Kent Spitfires 137-4 after 37.2 overs (Denly 32, Stevens 37*), beat Middlesex 133 all out after 36.4 overs (Scott 29*, Tredwell 6-27) by six wickets.

By Mark Pennell

A CAREER-best bowling display of 6-27 by Spitfires“ off-spinner James Tredwell eased Kent to their opening win in this summer“s Friends Provident Trophy qualifying campaign as the visitors swept Middlesex aside to secure a comfortable six wicket success with 76 balls to spare.
On a disappointingly slow pitch of variable bounce at The Walker Ground in Southgate, Tredwell proved nigh on unplayable – taking the prized wicket of Aussie opener Phillip Hughes with his first delivery of the day – and went on to claim 6-4 in the space of 24 balls.
The Panthers, having won the toss and elected to bat first, new from the very first over that they were in for as tough time as Billy Godleman nicked Azhar Mahmood“s second ball of the day just short of ‘keeper Geraint Jones. Godleman was beaten four more times in the over as the ball nipped around off the seam.
Hughes, who is averaging 161 in the championship, was given a life when on two when Joe Denly, diving forward at cover point, downed a tough chance off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.
But Godleman“s luck ran out when he edged a Mahmood leg-cutter to Jones who, stood up to the stumps, this time grabbed the opportunity at the second attempt.
Former Kent batsman Neil Dexter hung around for 16 balls in scoring single, but he then went back to a Steffan Jones off-cutter that ripped out the right-hander“s middle stump to make it 47-2.
Hughes who, prior to today had passed 50 in every innings for Middlesex to date, had reached 23 when the young Australian made a fatal error to Tredwell“s first ball of the day from the aptly named Adelaide Road End.
In aiming to drive on the up through the covers Hughes sliced off a thick outside edge high to Denly who this time pocketed the chance at point to give Tredwell the first of his career-best haul.
In Tredwell“s next over, a treble-wicket maiden, Dawid Malan“s attempted slog sweep flew to Steffan Jones at mid-on then, three balls later in-form Eoin Morgan clipped a well-timed drive to cover where Rob Key took a sharp, throat-high catch. The final ball of the over was nicked by Gareth Berg to Martin van Jaarsveld at slip to make it 65-6 with Tredwell bagging 4-2 in 12 balls.
The Middlesex rot continued when home skipper Shaun Udal (2) drove loosely to Wayne Parnell at mid-on to give Tredwell his first five-wicket haul in one-day cricket then, next ball, Tim Murtagh was caught on the crease to go leg before without scoring.
Thinking that attack was now the best form of defence, Chris Silverwood clobbered a straight six off Tredwell for the first boundary in 11 overs and he repeated the treatment in the next over, this time over the ropes at deep mid-wicket.
Left-arm spinner Rob Ferley then accounted for Silverwood, who checked a lofted drive to pick out Denly at wide mid-on to make it 93-9.
There were ironic jeers from the home support when Steve Finn chipped the single that took Panthers into treble figures, yet Finn hung around a while longer.
The last man teamed up with top-scorer Ben Scott (29 not out) to add 40, the biggest stand of the innings, for the 10th wicket before Finn had the top of his off stump pegged back by Mahmood to finish the innings with 13.2 overs still remaining.
Kent cut the arrears to 99 before Rob Key (17) edged behind when opening the face against Chris Silverwood then leg-spinner Dawid Malan accounted for Joe Denly (32) and Martin van Jaarsveld (20), after both men had hit the occasional spinner for straight sixes.
Darren Stevens (37*) joined forces with James Hockley (18) to take Kent to the brink of victory with a fourth-wicket stand of 46 – the highest of the match – before Hockley played around a straight one to be bowled by Steven Finn, leaving Stevens and Geraint Jones to polish the job off with 12.4 overs to spare.

Picture courtesy of Terry Mahoney