Blake se­cures fi­nal ball tie

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

DJ Bell-Drum­mond c Wright b Archer ...... 5 JL Denly c Brown b Mills...................16 SA North­east c Brown b Gar­ton .........28 SW Billings c Wiese b Jor­dan ............64 JDS Nee­sham not out .......................51 AJ Blake not out .................................0 Ex­tras (w4, nb4, lb4) .........................12 1-20, 2-27, 3-87. MT Coles 2- 0-27- 0, JDS Nee­sham 2- 0-16-1, CJ Haggett 1- 0-8-1, Im­ran Qayyum 1- 0-10- 0, ME Clay­don 2- 0-25- 0.

1-92, 2-125, 3-156, 4-158, 5-172, 6-177, 7-177, 8-177.

DI Stevens 1- 0- 6- 0, MT Coles 4- 0-32-4, JDS Nee­sham 3- 0-34- 0, ME Clay­don 4- 0-51-1, CJ Haggett 4- 0-272, JC Tred­well 4- 0-22-1.

1-2, 2-2, 3-36, 4-111, 5-116, 6-151, 7-159, 8-160.

TG Southee 4- 0-27-1, ST Finn 4-1-26-2, TG Helm 4- 0-46-1, NA Sowter 2- 0-17- 0, JEC Franklin 1- 0-9- 0, PR Stir­ling 2- 0-14-1, RF Hig­gins 3- 0-22-2. KENT’S NEXT FIVE GAMES July 27 Som­er­set (Can­ter­bury) ... T20 July 30 Glam­or­gan (Can­ter­bury) ...T20 A su­perb last-ball run out by Alex Blake earned Kent a thrilling tie in their rain-short­ened game against Sus­sex at Hove on Sun­day. Kent’s 20-over to­tal of 176-4 owed much to Sam Billings and Jimmy Nee­sham, who added a record 102 in 10 overs for the fourth wicket be­fore heavy rain forced an ex­tended break be­tween in­nings. The home side were left chas­ing a re­vised tar­get of 88 from eight overs and with eight re­quired from the fi­nal over and two from the game’s fi­nal delivery, bowled by Mitch Clay­don, Blake ran in from long-on to hit the stumps at the bowler’s end and run out the div­ing Lau­rie Evans. Clay­don’s open­ing over had gone for 18 but he vin­di­cated skip­per Sam North­east’s faith in giv­ing him the last over by hold­ing his nerve amid grow­ing ten­sion. Clay­don said: “It was pretty tough bowl­ing that last over with only eight to win. “I don’t think any pre­vi­ous over in the Sus­sex in­nings went for less than eight – I just had to try and get my york­ers in and man­aged to keep do­ing that. “Alex Blake’s throw off the last ball hit the stumps be­cause it picked up pace when it bounced so I was glad I didn’t have to field it! “It feels a lit­tle like we got out of jail with a tie but both sides will be quite happy. “We bat­ted well be­fore the rain – Sam (Billings) and Jimmy (Nee­sham) re­ally ac­cel­er­ated to get us to a good score on that wicket.” Kent had been 64-3 at the mid-point of their in­nings be­fore Billings and Nee­sham trans­formed things with a pul­sat­ing stand. Billings hit a sea­son’s best 64 from 42 balls – with one six and nine fours – while New Zealand left-han­der Nee­sham faced just 30 balls and clubbed five sixes – two of which came from the fi­nal two balls of the in­nings – as 112 runs were plun­dered from the sec­ond half of the in­nings. The pair’s cen­tury stand equalled Kent’s record for the fourth wicket, set by Geraint Jones and Dar­ren Stevens against Hampshire at Southampton in 2009. The Sus­sex chase be­gan well with Chris Nash and Luke Wright hit­ting 19 from the open­ing over, bowled by Matt Coles but in the sec­ond over, Wright was caught for eight. Ross Taylor soon fol­lowed but Nash lofted Im­ran Qayyum’s left arm spin high over ex­tra cover for six in the fourth over and the next, Clay­don’s first, cost 18 runs. The tar­get was down to 20 from the last two, with 12 com­ing from Nee­sham’s penul­ti­mate over. That looked to have sealed the game for Sus­sex but then came the dra­matic fi­nale.

A last over hat-trick by Matt Coles proved in vain as Kent (163-8) lost by six wick­ets to Mid­dle­sex (179-8) at Rich­mond last Thurs­day.

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