Spit­fires lead the way as rain takes its toll

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk -

“Win­ning pro­mo­tion or tro­phies is a long way off, but it’s closer than what it was a few games ago.”

The 36-year-old for­mer West Indies Test bats­men ad­mit­ted lead­ing the pack was a new ex­pe­ri­ence for the ma­jor­ity of his team-mates in the Can­ter­bury dress­ing room.

He said: “For the first time in a lit­tle while we’re at the top of a com­pe­ti­tion and that’s quite im­por­tant. It’s one of the chal­lenges we face as a group, Kent’s hopes of col­lect­ing a fourth win of the sea­son in the Royal Lon­don One-Day Cup were thwarted by the rain against Not­ting­hamshire at Trent Bridge on Fri­day. The weather also led to Sun­day’s clash with Birm­ing­ham Bears at Rugby School be­ing aban­doned with­out a ball be­ing bowled.

Need­ing 229 to win against the Out­laws, Kent were 48-2 from eight overs, when rain forced the match to be aban­doned.

The teams – both of whom went into the game un­beaten – each re­ceived one point, with the point from Sun­day’s aban­don­ment in War­wick­shire keep­ing Kent top of Group B, two clear of the chas­ing pack of four.

Af­ter rain had led to a de­layed start the match was re­duced to 43 overs-a-side and Not­ting­hamshire were 70-2 from 16 overs when the weather in­ter­vened again, fur­ther re­duc­ing the con­test to 38 overs.

The home side closed on 228-7 with Mitch Clay­don fin­ish­ing with 3-37 from eight overs, while Doug Bollinger took 2-66 from eight.

Kent’s re­ply be­gan badly when Daniel Bell-Drum­mond fell for a duck to Jake Ball, to the sec­ond ball he faced, but Sam North­east and Ben Harmi­son (19 not out) then added 43 be­fore act­ing skip­per North­east fell to Aj­mal Shazah for 21.

Four runs later the rain re­turned leav­ing um­pires Nick Cook and Stephen Gale with no op­tion but to aban­don the con­test at 8.30pm.

Bollinger and

all-rounder Dar­ren Stevens starred as Kent went top with a six-wicket win against Glam­or­gan in Can­ter­bury last Wed­nes­day.

Bollinger equalled his ca­reer-best do­mes­tic one-day fig­ures of 5-35 to help dis­miss the vis­i­tors for 209 af­ter they had won the toss and de­cided to bat at The Spit­fire Ground, St Lawrence.

Stevens then hit 62 not out off 59 balls, an in­nings that in­cluded three sixes and four fours, to help ease Kent home with 38 balls to spare.

The vic­tory kept Kent un­beaten af­ter ear­lier wins against Durham, Som­er­set and Glam­or­gan, and the tie against Sur­rey.

Chris Cooke top scored for Glam­or­gan with 73 be­fore he be­came one of Bollinger’s vic­tims, while vet­eran Mur­ray Good­win made 40 be­fore the vis­i­tors were all out in the 47th over.

Stevens took 2-36, which in­cluded his 100th list A wicket when he caught and bowled opener Will Bragg for 30.

Bell-Drum­mond (5) fell early in Kent’s re­ply be­fore North­east (33) and Harmi­son (43) shared a sec­ond-wicket part­ner­ship of 65, only for spin­ner Dean Cosker (3-56) to re­move Harmi­son.

Fabian Cow­drey (42) and North­east took the score to 107 be­fore Cosker bowled North­east.

That brought Stevens to the crease and he put on 70 with Cow­drey be­fore the lat­ter be­came Cosker’s third scalp af­ter be­ing caught at mid-on.

Alex Blake (12 not out) then joined Stevens to guide Kent home and move them two points clear at the top of the group.

Cow­drey scored a ca­reer-best 75 off 87 balls in a dra­matic tie with Sur­rey at The Oval the pre­vi­ous night.

In-form Sam Billings clubbed 87 from just 42 balls and North­east hit 63 as Kent posted 314-8 af­ter win­ning the toss.

De­spite the hosts need­ing 16 from the fi­nal over from Clay­don, Za­far Ansari smashed 15 from the first four balls, though Gareth Batty swung and missed at the penul­ti­mate ball and was then run out off the fi­nal ball by James Tred­well to se­cure a share of the points.

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

Kent’s Bren­dan Nash in­sists they can’t look too far ahead

Pic­ture: Chris Davey

Doug Bollinger in ac­tion against Glam­or­gan

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