Neesham: Bowlers nailed it
KIWI SAYS WIN WAS BRILLIANT EFFORT
Jimmy Neesham claimed it took ‘a hell of an effort’ from Kent’s bowlers to turn the tide and secure a memorable win at Hampshire on Tuesday night.
The hosts needed just 52 runs from the final seven overs and later 24 from the last 18 balls to ensure a win which would have dented Kent’s hopes of a knockout place in NatWest T20 Blast.
However, Neesham went for two in the 18th, Matt Coles conceded six from the penultimate over and Mitch Claydon allowed 10 off the final over to seal a memorable win.
Neesham said: “In this format it only takes two or three good overs no matter how far behind the game you are. The way Mitchy and Matt came out in those last two overs and closed the game out for us was exceptional.
“It all laid on the foundations of what guys like Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly did up front on what was a reasonably difficult wicket to bat on – to get us to a par total and give us something to defend was crucial.”
Neesham claimed the wicket of England man Liam Dawson in his stingy final over and said: “In those sorts of situations you don’t have a lot to lose because you’re behind the game.
“You have practiced a whole lot of yorkers in the week and over the past 10 years and you hope they come out at that time and thankfully they did.
“Then you can rely on your team-mates to come through and back you up and the way Colesy and Mitchy did that was outstanding.”
He added: “I wouldn’t say we were confident. We knew there was always a possibility, you’re never out of the game completely and we knew having batted on it earlier that it was quite tough to get going for the middle-order batsmen.
“It was hard to hit from ball one, so we knew if we could get a couple of wickets in those last few overs and get new guys in it would be tough to chase anything north of eight or nine.”
Kent posted 159-6 after reaching 91-1 in the 11th over and Neesham said: “There was a bit of debate about our score. I thought 159 was about par, a couple of guys thought about 170.
“The way Hampshire got off to a flier rendered whatever we thought par was pretty useless, the way they came out at the top was impressive and it took a hell of an effort to pull them back.”
Kent got back to winning ways after falling short against Glamorgan on Sunday and Neesham said: “One of the good things about our changing room is that nobody hides from their responsibilities and we had a pretty honest and up front chat about the game on Sunday.
“Guys took a lot on the chin. Coming out here and putting a performance like that on the board harks back to that. It’s obviously a whole team unit and the win is what matters.”
‘The way Mitchy and Matt closed the game out was exceptional’
Jimmy Neesham, left, and Matt Coles were key figures with the ball at Hampshire