It doesn’t get bet­ter than that for Denly

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Joe Denly ad­mit­ted ‘it doesn’t get much bet­ter’ than crack­ing an un­beaten cen­tury to lead a record chase at ri­vals Sur­rey. The 31-year-old hit a blis­ter­ing 116 not out to en­sure Kent over­hauled the hosts’ to­tal of 205-5 at a packed Oval by eight wick­ets on Fri­day night. Denly’s ca­reer best T20 score made him the first Kent bats­man to reach three fig­ures twice in 20-over cricket. It was the fourth high­est chase in do­mes­tic T20 cricket and fea­tured an open­ing stand of 163 be­tween Denly and open­ing part­ner Daniel Bell-Drum­mond – the high­est stand for any wicket in Kent T20 matches. It con­tin­ued a rich vein of form for Denly who set his First Class best score of 227 at Worces­ter­shire last month be­fore shar­ing Kent’s high­est red-ball stand of 382 with Sean Dick­son against Northants at the start of July. Denly said: “Chas­ing 206 in front of a packed house at The Oval, it doesn’t get much bet­ter than that. “Sur­rey are a fiery bunch on the pitch but they were gra­cious in de­feat and to a man they came over and shook my hand. “Both Deebz and I were strug­gling to pick it up at the start there, not be­cause of the light so much but be­cause of the back­ground. “But it was the kind of wicket where you needed to spend a bit of time get­ting used to the pace of the ball. “Af­ter that it was a typ­i­cal Oval run-chase. It’s a big ground to de­fend on, so there were lots of gaps, plenty of twos to run which I felt we did well. “The pitch was a weird browny-green colour but the ball came on pretty well and I didn’t mind bat­ting on it. “Daniel was bril­liant down the other end. He’s a de­light­ful player, un­ortho­dox at times and has great hands. “The Sur­rey boys found him a night­mare to bowl at and it proved a great open­ing stand as it left us with plenty of wick­ets in hand. “Then (Sam Billings) came in to play a nice lit­tle knock that re­ally took the pres­sure off me. “It was a great time for him to come in and show off his skills.”

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