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Kent Spitfires: Alex Blake reflects on vital half-century against Middlesex at Lord's

ByCameron Hogwood

Alex Blake exploded into life at the perfect moment to help Kent towards a 28-run victory over Middlesex at Lord's on Thursday night.

He and Heino Kuhn shared a pivotal 114-run partnership in the second half of the Spitfires' innings to close on an unassailable 204-4.

This included three successive sixes against the bowling of Steven Finn on his way towards an unbeaten 66 off just 29 deliveries.

Scroll down to hear from Alex Blake.

Kent's Alex Blake. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Alex Blake. Picture: Ady Kerry

Blake said: "We've seen that they (Middlesex) have been doing well and they welcomed back three high-profile names in (Eoin) Morgan, AB (de Villiers) and (Paul) Stirling so we knew they'd be a tough outfit to beat.

"I keep saying it, credit to our bowling attack, they've been brilliant in these first five games and we seem to have found a bit of momentum and long may it continue.

"We've got another tough game against Sussex (on Friday) so we've got to keep doing the business and hopefully we can go six from six.

"When I came in I was pretty happy to play second fiddle to Heino (Kuhn), he's been batting brilliantly and has been in good touch.

"I was happy to run hard and get him back on strike and then when those last few overs came with that short boundary the left hand/right hand combination worked in our favour and I got a few away and we accelerated to get up to 200.

"He (Finn) set up for a plan to go to the long boundary and he nailed his first yorker, I somehow managed to squirt it away over point.

"Then he changed his field and his length a little bit and fortunately it was in an area where I could get it in my arc and get a few over him.

"I knew with that short boundary approaching the 17th over it was probably about time to put the foot on the gas."

Blake also admitted the wicket was better suited to batsman than expected.

"We weren't quite sure looking at the wicket, we thought it might be a bit slower than normal," he added.

"Zak Crawley played nicely and came off and said it was actually a pretty good wicket and it seemed to be coming onto the bat okay.

"For me I like to have a bit of time to get in, knock it around a bit and run hard at the start and then try and explode towards the end so it worked pretty well for me.

"The little man Heino Kuhn playing his reverse sweeps as well, he's in great touch."

Kent's Sam Billings
Kent's Sam Billings

In something of a recurring theme across Kent's winning start to the T20 Blast, the Spitfires' bowling unit also came in for more high praise after another dominant display.

"They're world class," said Blake.

"(Adam) Milne does it every time, Hardus (Viljoen) is bowling with good pace and seems to get wickets at vital times.

"Then you add (Mohammad) Nabi, Imran (Qayyum), Fred (Klaassen) and even DBD (Daniel-Bell-Drummond) tonight, I think our bowling is looking really good and I'm confident that if we post a good score we've got the guys to defend it."

Kent's depth is set to be bolstered further in the coming weeks, with Sam Billings closing in on his return from a shoulder injury.

"With Bilbo (Sam Billings) to come back it's very exciting, he's another high class player and a match winner," explained Blake.

"I don't know where he's going to fit in, I think he'll have his number four spot back."

Friday's opponents Sussex meanwhile await with a fierce bowling threat of their own, including World Cup winner Jofra Archer.

Blake said: "Their attack is pretty pacey and I think that is what they (Sussex) structure their team on a bit with Tymal Mills.

"I think Archer is going to play, Chris Jordan as well. They've got extreme pace.

"Hopefully we can keep doing our stuff and use the pace, we'll go down there confident.

"Obviously they got to the final so they know how to go about their business, if we stick to our task though we should be okay."

Read more: All the latest Kent sport news

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