Kent fall short despite Coles’ ton
A sensational hundred by Matt Coles almost secured Kent a remarkable win in their Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final against Surrey.
The all-rounder, batting at No.9, smashed nine sixes in his stunning 73-ball knock, taking Kent to the brink of victory before going down by 17 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method at the Kia Oval on Thursday.
Surrey were all out for 273, which included 112 from opener Jason Roy, before Kent – chasing a revised target of 251 off 40 overs after a rain delay – looked down and out at 101-7.
But Coles and Darren Stevens had other ideas, sharing an eighth-wicket stand of 39 before Stevens departed for 37.
Mitch Claydon added 29 with Coles but was bowled for four before last-man Matt Hunn, who finished unbeaten on one, helped add 64 .
Coles was finally out for 100 after top edging Tom Curran and was caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
A disappointed Coles said: “It would have been easier to take had we lost by 50 or 60 runs rather than such a small margin.
“Of course you look back and wonder what might have been had I taken a single here or there when I could have done – it’s a fine line when you get as close as we did.
“Saying that, I am not going to dwell on it. If you do, it starts to eat away at you and that’s no good.” Kent’s run chase had started disastrously before the rain arrived, losing Daniel Bell-Drummond for one after being caught by Kumar Sangakkara off Sam Curran (2-34). Joe Denly (13) was next to fall to Curran, caught at mid-wicket by Rory Burns before the rain arrived. When play resumed after a break of more than an hour, Fabian Cowdrey (7) was bowled by Tom Curran (3-22).
He repeated the act soon after, re-arranging Sam Northeast’s stumps when the captain had made 23.
Sam Billings came and went for three after being stumped by Foakes off the second ball from spinner Zafar Ansari (2-39). Billings’ dismissal left Kent 49-5.
Alex Blake (17), who has been Kent’s batting saviour in plenty of limited overs games this season, was next to go. Blake hit Ansari for six before the slow left-armer got his revenge the next ball to leave Kent 79-6.
Stevens and James Tredwell then added 28 together before Gareth Batty (1-61) had Tredwell caught behind for three.
Stevens continued to take the fight to Surrey, reaching 37 off 35 balls before James Burke (1-23) had him caught by Foakes with the score on 140.
Earlier, opener Roy’s 112 dominated Surrey’s innings. The England limited overs representative hit 13 fours and one six in his 116-ball stay before Tredwell (3-47) had him caught in the deep by Blake.
Roy’s departure signalled a start of a stunning fightback by the Kent bowlers as Surrey collapsed from 192-3 to 273 all out.
Burns (42) and Ansari (35) were the only batsmen to offer any resistance as Claydon (3-62) and Coles (3-47) combined to wrap up the innings.
Stevens (1-32) had earlier got rid of opener Steven Davies, caught behind by Billings, after he had hit four boundaries in his 17.