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Heino Kuhn's heroics see Kent through to final of One-Day Cup

By Josh Fordham

Heino Kuhn’s fourth century in five innings in the Royal London One-Day Cup fired Kent to their first Lord’s final in 10 years.

The Spitfires beat Worcestershire by two wickets at New Road in the semi-final on Sunday.

Alex Blake then provided the firepower at the end of the innings as Kent chased down their target of 307.

It was a nail-biting end to the match with at one stage Kent needed around 10 an over in the last 15 overs and Harry Podmore hit the winnings runs with two balls to go.

Kent’s Matt Henry takes the catch to dismiss Brett D’Oliveira during their Royal London One-Day Cup Semi Final. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent’s Matt Henry takes the catch to dismiss Brett D’Oliveira during their Royal London One-Day Cup Semi Final. Picture: Ady Kerry

Kent’s run chase faltered in the opening overs with Dillon Pennington claiming the wickets of Daniel Bell-Drummond (1) and Joe Denly (0) in his first two overs.

Sean Dickson (8) then fell cheaply to leave Kent struggling on 37-3 after the first 10 overs.

Heino Kuhn and Adam Rouse steadied the Kent innings matching the Worcester scoring rate. The pair put on 114 for the fourth wicket before Rouse chipped to mid-off after making an excellent 70 after a last minute call-up after Sam Billings played for England on Saturday.

Harry Podmore celebrating after hitting the winning runs. Picture: Ady Kerry (2578730)
Harry Podmore celebrating after hitting the winning runs. Picture: Ady Kerry (2578730)

Kuhn played superbly to get his fourth century in five matches in the One-Day Cup and ended with 127, his highest of the competition so far.

Alex Blake came in and provided the firepower to keep up with the 10 an over run rate and brought up his half-century in 40 balls.

With wickets falling in the final overs, Harry Podmore kept his cool to hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.

Alex Blake batting for Kent in their semi-final win against Worcestershire. Picture: Ady Kerry (2578726)
Alex Blake batting for Kent in their semi-final win against Worcestershire. Picture: Ady Kerry (2578726)

Kent’s bowlers again got them off to a brilliant start to put the Worcestershire batters under pressure from the off after the home side won the toss.

The Rapids were reduced to 41-3 in the first 10 overs after some excellent bowling by Matt Henry, Harry Podmore and Darren Stevens.

Podmore took the key wicket of Callum Ferguson early on for 13. The wicket of Daryl Mitchell (4) then followed to leave the home side 48-4 after 13 overs.

Brett D’Oliveira (78) and Ben Cox put on a superb partnership of 140 for the fifth wicket before the former was out to a superb one-handed catch by Matt Henry on the boundary.

Kent’s Imran Qayyum during their Royal London Cup Semi Final at Worcester. Picture: Ady Kerry.
Kent’s Imran Qayyum during their Royal London Cup Semi Final at Worcester. Picture: Ady Kerry.

Cox pushed on and smashed his way to a century ending the innings 122 not out with Ed Barnard playing a quick cameo at the end of the innings with 50 from 28 balls.

Stevens was the pick of the Kent bowlers taking 2-33 with Podmore also taking two wickets for 55 runs.

Calum Haggett was expensive in the final overs with 24 coming from the last six balls.

They will now play the winner of the second semi-final between Hampshire and Yorkshire on Monday.

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