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Kent batsman Joe Denly on his unbeaten century and record stand in NatWest T20 Blast win at Surrey

By Alex Hoad

Joe Denly admitted 'it doesn't get much better' than cracking an unbeaten century to lead a record-setting chase at rivals Surrey.

The 31-year-old hit a blistering 116 not out - his career best T20 score which made him the first Kent batsman to reach three-figures twice in 20-over cricket - to ensure Kent overhauled the hosts' total of 205-5 at a packed Oval by eight wickets on Friday night.

It was the fourth highest chase in domestic T20 cricket history and featured an opening stand of 163 between Denly and opening partner Daniel Bell-Drummond - the highest stand for any wicket in Kent T20 history.

Joe Denly. Picture Andy Jones.

Joe Denly. Picture: Andy Jones.

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 very gracious in defeat and to a man they came over and shook my hand.”

He added: "Both Deebs 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 really well.

“The pitch was a weird browny-green colour, but the ball came on pretty well and I have to say 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. I think 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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