Blake secures final ball tie
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.