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Kent Cricket: Heino Kuhn explains superb final over in T20 win over Essex

Heino Kuhn has set his sights on silverware after leading Kent to a 22-run win over Essex in the T20 Blast on Friday evening.

The South African fired an unbeaten 55 after five successive fours in the last over of the Spitfires' innings, before making an outstanding diving catch on the boundary later in the game.

His knock would go on to prove decisive as Ryan ten Doeschate continued to keep the visitors in the game with an unbeaten 58, only for Essex to fall short on 153-7.

Kent's Heino Kuhn clips one to square leg as he works towards his half-century against Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Heino Kuhn clips one to square leg as he works towards his half-century against Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry

Kuhn said: "It's a great feeling, it was a group effort again and it's nice that it's not the same guy every time making the runs and getting the wickets so I'm very chuffed.

"I feel like I have to score runs every game, there's such a great line-up and guys sitting out which is brilliant, every time I'm batting I feel like I have to score runs which is a good feeling and a good team thing. It's nice that it worked for me today."

On his plan heading into the final over, he added: "To get every ball to get to the boundary really and to just find a way to get the ball there.

"Their mid-off was up and I just feel in our innings we tried to go too square because of the small boundary. I just said 'listen whatever I do just try and keep your shape and hit it as hard as you can' and luckily it worked out."

A standout shot came in the form of a perfectly-timed reverse hook for four, raising eyebrows around a sold out Spitfire Ground a week after Kuhn had been placed in concussion protocol having been struck on the neck by Hampshire's Fidel Edwards.

"I definitely should practice that shot in the nets a bit more but it's just instinctive," admitted Kuhn.

"I can't say I plan it, I wanted to reverse-sweep and pre-meditate it and then it was short so it just happened for me, there's somebody upstairs that's really looking out for me.

"I just want to do anything to get this team to a trophy so whatever I can do, scoring runs, taking catches is great. I think we've got a great team, everybody is doing their bit so it's a great feeling."

Kuhn also spared praise for Kent's thriving bowling attack, with Hardus Viljoen picking up another two wickets on the night and Mohammad Nabi, Adam Milne, Imran Qayyum and Fred Klaassen all picking up one apiece.

He explained. "It's nice that we have two guys bowling quick (Viljoen and Milne) and then Nabi and Qayyum turning the ball nicely, it's worked for us.

"Then guys like Fred who is just doing his job, he's got his own technique of doing things and it's just working for us."

Heino Kuhn executes one of multiple reverse-sweeps in Kent's win over Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry
Heino Kuhn executes one of multiple reverse-sweeps in Kent's win over Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry

With dropped catches to rectify and runs still to be contributed, Kuhn insists Kent still have more to offer as they prepare to face Surrey at The Kia Oval on Tuesday.

"Like we said in the changing room, we need to stay hungry, we're still a long way away," said Kuhn.

"Just take every game as it comes and come next week we'll just try and do it again.

"It's always tough against them (Surrey), it's always a great game. It will probably be a very good crowd like it normally is there but we're hungry.

"We aren't just going to sit back and hope it happens, we are definitely going to be up for it and hopefully we can make it four wins from four.

"There's always room for improvement and we all know that, come next week we will start from scratch again and just keep on doing what we can."

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