Blake seals much-needed win with six
Alex Blake admitted he needed confirmation his winning hit was a six as he led Kent Spitfires to an exciting one-wicket win over Surrey in the opening Royal London One Day Cup South Group contest at Beckenham on Sunday, writes Andrew Gidley. The left-hander hit the second to last ball of the match – bowled by Tom Curran – over the ropes to end on 66 not out off 62 balls. Blake had walked out at No.8, with his side 147-6 – needing 256 to win. He made a cautious start, before adding 72 in 14 overs with Sam Northeast who fell for 47, with 37 still needed. Matt Coles then went for a duck but James Tredwell made seven, in a stand of 26, before being run out, leaving Blake to get Kent home in style. Blake said: “I didn’t know it was a six because I was a bit caught up in the moment and just ran off to celebrate not knowing where it had landed. To be the one to hit the winning runs against Surrey, of all teams, was pleasing. “I was calm at the start of the last over, when we only needed three but when we needed two off the final two balls it was a little nerve wracking.” Four wickets in four overs put the skids under Kent’s reply, after Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly had added 95 in 18 overs, following the loss of Tom Latham. Bell-Drummond passed 50 before he and Denly went in consecutive overs, both to catches by Kumar Sangakkara. Fabian Cowdrey and Sam Billings followed in quick succession before Darren Stevens and Northeast stayed to repair the damage and Blake finished things off in style. Earlier, Surrey posted 255-8 with Sangakkara making 58. Late knocks from Sam Curran (22) and skipper Gareth Batty (16 not out) helped them to their total. Last night (Wednesday), Kent were due to take on Hampshire in the NatWest T20 at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence. Tomorrow (Friday), they face Sussex at Hove (7pm start). Kent are back in One Day Cup action on Sunday when they host Glamorgan at Canterbury (11am), before returning to St Lawrence on Tuesday to face Somerset (11am). They then travel to Essex the following day for an 11am start. Two T20 defeats in two days dented Kent’s momentum last week. Last Thursday Sam Northeast’s side lost by nine runs to Hampshire at Southampton, while the following day Kent (147-7) went down to Gloucestershire by seven wickets at Beckenham.
Alex Blake hits out against Gloucestershire on Friday night