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Kent Spitfires beat Gloucestershire by seven wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Beckenham

By Matthew Panting

Kent are through to the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup following a dominant batting display on Sunday.

Spitfires chased down Gloucestershire's total of 322-8 with more than three overs to spare at Beckenham.

Two Kent batsmen made centuries. Opener Heino Kuhn hit 113 - his second ton in three days - while Joe Denly was left unbeaten on 109.

Heino Kuhn was in the runs for Kent against Gloucestershire at Beckenham on Sunday. Picture: Andy Jones
Heino Kuhn was in the runs for Kent against Gloucestershire at Beckenham on Sunday. Picture: Andy Jones

Daniel Bell-Drummond survived an early scare, dropped at slip by George Hankins on 10. He went on to pass 3,000 one-day runs for the county before Hawkins made no mistake at mid-wicket by the time Bell-Drummond had advanced to 40, giving Craig Miles his first scalp.

Opening partner Kuhn carried on where he left off against Surrey on Friday with some punchy shots around the ground, particularly harsh on anything wide.

He reached his fifty in 44 balls, hitting spinner Tom Smith out of the attack after only two overs and then dispatching paceman Matt Taylor straight over his head for six.

Supported by Denly, the pair took less than 16 overs to put on 100 for the second wicket. Denly was particularly brutal when Smith returned to the attack as Kent went past 200 in the 31st over.

Kuhn went to three figures with a boundary, his century coming up from 90 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. They went on to post a record partnership against Gloucestershire and the highest partnership in one-day cricket at Beckenham, putting on 186 in just over 28 overs.

Kuhn was eventually out for 113 from 102 balls, caught at deep long off by Hankins to give Chris Liddle his first wicket.

Sam Billings was brilliantly caught and bowled by Miles for just two as Kent still needed 64 from the last 10 overs.

Denly went on to reach three figures from 104 balls with seven fours and three sixes.

Alex Blake hit a couple of lusty blows to settle any Kent nerves and he then took 22 off one Miles over to finish unbeaten on 44.

Earlier Gloucestershire had got off to a decent start after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

Openers Chris Dent and Hawkins were both untroubled, putting on 132 before losing their first wicket in the 21st over, the former chipping Darren Stevens to mid-wicket.

Stevens and Imran Qayyum checked Gloucestershire's progress with an accurate spell in the middle of their innings.

From overs 15 to 35, Gloucestershire were only able to add 95 runs, Stevens picking up another wicket to finish with 2-43.

Denly took 1-49 in eight overs, including the wicket for Gareth Roderick for 19.

Hawkins went for 93, bowled by a Matt Henry yorker, to leave the visitors 206-4 with nearly 14 overs left.

Ian Cockbain and James Taylor both hit explosive half-centuries to ensure they went past the 300-mark. Taylor hit a 37-ball fifty and Cockbain reached that figure in 41 balls, giving Mitch Claydon plenty of stick.

Denly completed two run outs in the final over as Gloucestershire closed on 322-8.

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