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Kent beat Middlesex by three wickets in T20 match at Beckenham

By Josh Fordham

Kent moved a step closer to qualification to the Vitality Blast knockout stages after a win against Middlesex at Beckenham.

It was the sixth victory of the tournament for the Spitfires as beat the South Group strugglers by three wickets

Alex Blake hit a 23 ball half-century for his side as they chased down their target of 190 with three balls to spare.

Joe Denly. Picture: Keith Gillard.
Joe Denly. Picture: Keith Gillard.

Chasing a target of 190, James Simpson took a superb catch behind the stumps to remove Joe Denly (4) off Tom Barber in the first over of Kent's innings.

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Heino Kuhn got Kent off to a strong start with the Spitfires reaching 61 after five overs before the latter was bowled by James Harris for 28.

Bell-Drummond and skipper Sam Billings kept the run rate high and at the halfway stage got the Spitfires to 100-2.

Billings was caught in the deep by James Fuller off Ravi Patel in the 11th over for 20 with his side on 103-3.

Bell-Drummond reached his half-century from 29 balls before he was bowled by Harris for 62 in the 15th over.

On his T20 debut, Zak Crawley was out lbw off Stirling for three to leave Kent on 141-5.

Kent gave themselves a tough job going into the last three overs needing 40 runs with Alex Blake and Sean Dickson at the crease.

Blake smashed a 23 ball half-century to put Kent within touching distance of victory. He was eventually out for 57 but the home side edged over the line with three balls to spare.

After being put into bat, Middlesex made a blistering start in the powerplay overs with Dawid Malan and Paul Stirling smashing 71 runs.

Malan chipped one straight back to Joe Denly (3-25) on the first ball after the powerplay as he made 36 from 19 balls.

Spin proved effective for the Spitfires after the first six overs as Imran Qayyum (2-35) removed Stirling for 34 in his first over of the innings to leave the visitors on 76-2.

Qayyum struck again in the 12th over to remove dangerman Eoin Morgan for 16 when the England one-day international skipper mis-timed one to Sean Dickson at long-on.

Denly then got his second in the 14th over with John Simpson (29) hitting one to Dickson on the boundary. In the same over, Denly bowled James Fuller for 10 to leave Middlesex 130-5.

Stevie Eskinazi (23 not out) and James Franklin (27) did some damage in the final five overs, including one Qayyum over going for 24 runs.

Mitch Claydon (2-36) picked up a couple of wickets in the final over of the innings as Middlesex reached 189-7.

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