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Jack Leaning and Jordan Cox hit half-centuries as Kent Spitfires beat Middlesex by 16 runs in T20 Blast

A brilliant partnership of 123 in 12 overs between Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning helped Kent Spitfires make it two wins out of two in the T20 Blast on Friday night.

The hosts recovered from 47-4 to eventually post a comfortable 16-run win over Middlesex at Canterbury.

Kent's Jack Leaning - scored 64 and took 1-30 with the ball against Middlesex. Picture: Barry Goodwin (48054155)
Kent's Jack Leaning - scored 64 and took 1-30 with the ball against Middlesex. Picture: Barry Goodwin (48054155)

Middlesex's decision to field after winning the toss initially seemed vindicated when Blake Cullen took wickets with the last two balls of the third over, after he'd been hit for 13 off the previous four deliveries.

Kent skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond skied the fifth and was caught by Eoin Morgan at mid-off for 15. Then Joe Denly slashed at the next ball and fell to a diving catch by John Simpson for 10.

In the next over Ollie Robinson edged Steven Finn and was caught behind for eight, leaving Kent 42-3 at the end of the powerplay.

Chris Green had Alex Blake stumped off a wide for six to leave Kent 47-3 after seven overs, but Cox and Leaning responded with a cleverly-paced stand, marked by smart running between the wickets and a well-timed acceleration that saw the last five overs of the innings produce 64 runs.

The final over produced four wickets - including a hat-trick - plus eight runs.

Green had Cox caught by Max Holden for 64. Leaning his a two and a six to take his score to 64 from 42 balls before he was caught by Morgan. Darren Stevens was stumped off his first delivery and the hat-trick was complete when Matt Milnes caught by Ethan Bamber.

Middlesex's reply got off to a disastrous start. Stevie Eskinazi was caught behind off Denly for four and Paul Stirling skied James Logan's first delivery to Blake for a duck to leave them 4-2.

Holden got a bottom edge to Stevens and was caught behind for 10, Simpson played a horrible shot to Leaning and was caught by Cox for four and Eoin Morgan (27) cut Stevens to Bell-Drummond to leave Middlesex 57-5 in the ninth over.

Stevens (3-32) bowled Green for 16 and although Luke Hollman and Nathan Sowter offered some late resistance with a fifty partnership for the seventh wicket, they were always slightly behind the run rate.

When Fred Klaassen had Hollman caught by Blake off the final ball of the penultimate over for 51 from 33 balls, it left Middlesex needing 25 off six. Cullen holed out to Milnes and was caught by Blake for four as the visitors finished on 162-8, Sowter unbeaten on 31.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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