North­east hails spe­cial knock

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Cricket - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Sam North­east hailed Alex Blake’s match-win­ning knock against Sur­rey as spe­cial – happy that Kent Spit­fires had stopped the rot af­ter two suc­ces­sive T20 de­feats.

Blake hit 66 not out off 62 balls to see home an ex­cit­ing one-wicket Royal Lon­don One Day Cup win with a six off the sec­ond-last ball of the match but the Kent skip­per says they should have won more com­fort­ably.

North­east said: “It was a game that we should have won with about 10 overs to spare.

“We were cruis­ing at one stage but Sur­rey would prob­a­bly ad­mit they came up short af­ter be­ing 100-2 with Ku­mar Sangakkara about to kick into over­drive, so the bowlers did well to re­duce them to 250.”

Kent lost four wick­ets for four runs in as many overs at one stage but North­east said: “These things hap­pen in cricket. There are hardly any games where you have a per­fect per­for­mance but it would be nice to win a game in a dom­i­nat­ing fash­ion.

“We are good enough to do that, stamp our au­thor­ity on games and not leave it to the last mo­ment.”

He added: “It’s nice to have a player like Blakey com­ing in when we are in a bit of trou­ble.

“He has done it a few times for us now and it was im­por­tant to get over the line.

“Hope­fully, that breeds a lit­tle bit of con­fi­dence in the camp af­ter two losses. We started off well beat­ing Som­er­set in the T20 and have done the same in 50 overs.”

North­east also re­vealed Blake is strug­gling to find the right bat – hav­ing used three in his knock on Sun­day.

He said: “Alex is prob­a­bly one of the best fin­ish­ers in the county game at the mo­ment. He knows his ar­eas and sticks to them and hits a clean ball.

“He is hav­ing a bit of a bat cri­sis at the mo­ment – god knows what he will do when he gets some de­cent sticks in his hands.

“Blakey is con­fi­dent in the one-day for­mat – he knows his game well.

“James Tred­well played an im­por­tant role at the end as well, it wasn’t ideal or per­fect on the day but a spe­cial knock saved us.”

Mitch Clay­don looked set to miss the NatWest T20 Blast game against Hamp­shire with a side strain last night (Wed­nes­day) but could re­turn against Sus­sex at Hove on Fri­day.

Mean­while, young spin­ner Im­ran Qayyum was back in Sec­ond Eleven ac­tion this week, af­ter re­tir­ing hurt with con­cus­sion, bat­ting against Glouces­ter­shire 2nds at Polo Farm in Can­ter­bury last month.

Kent 2nds won both their T20 matches against Es­sex at Bil­ler­icay on Mon­day, to re­vive their hopes of mak­ing the knock­out stages for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive year. MA Car­berry c Coles b Thomas .........54 JM Vince c Blake b Grif­fiths ................7 JHK Adams c Cow­drey b Coles .........18 AJA Wheater c Grif­fiths b Coles...........6 Shahid Afridi b Cow­drey....................21 DJG Sammy c Denly b Coles .............27 SM Ervine c Billings b Thomas ............0 LA Daw­son c Cow­drey b Coles ..........10 GM An­drew not out .............................5 GK Berg not out ..................................0 Ex­tras (lb 6, nb 4) .............................10 M Klinger c Blake b Tred­well ............27 HJH Mar­shall b Stevens ....................56 IA Cock­bain c Billings b Thomas .......37 CDJ Dent not out ..............................11 BAC How­ell not out .............................4 Ex­tras (b 4, w 1, nb 6).......................11 1-66, 2-130, 3-132.

MT Coles 3-0-18-0, DA Grif­fiths 3-0-34-0, DI Stevens 2.2-0-20-1, JC Tred­well 4-0-28-1, FK Cow­drey 4-0-21-0, IAA Thomas 3-0-21-1.

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win FM4366482

Dar­ren Stevens is bowled by An­drew Tye dur­ing Kent’s T20 de­feat against Glouces­ter­shire

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