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Adam Milne says Joe Denly changed the game with both bat and ball in Surrey win

By Josh Fordham

Adam Milne believes Joe Denly yet again proved his credentials as a world-class cricketer.

The New Zealand overseas fast bowler took the final two wickets in Kent’s six run win over Surrey at The Kia Oval on Friday.

Earlier in the match, Denly had scored a century and took a hat-trick with the ball.

Milne said: “He continues to blow me away. I just think he’s a world-class batsman, he played some beautiful strokes and his bowling is just as good.

“He hits a good line and length and makes the batsmen do something. He changed the game with both bat and ball.”

Adam Milne.Picture: Paul Amos.
Adam Milne.Picture: Paul Amos.

Denly’s hat-trick gave Spitfires some hope in the match that Surrey looked to be cruising to victory. At one stage they were 135-3 in the 13th over chasing 174 before Denly took his wickets.

Milne bowled the penultimate over of the innings with the hosts needing nine runs with two wickets in hand. After conceding two singles from the first three balls he got the last two men out in consecutive deliveries.

Milne said: “It was incredible really. If we were perfectly honest we didn’t bowl great at the start so the batsman got away from us and played some good innings. Ben Foakes was striking it beautifully and it looked as though we were going to lose in 12 or 13 overs.

“Joe Denly coming in and getting a hat-trick completely changed the game. We continued to take wickets at one end and it came down to that penultimate over and I knew I needed dot balls or wickets.

“I tried to run in and be aggressive and luckily I snuck one through Batty and a little wide one was nicked through to Sam, so it was a pretty exciting finish.

“The vibe in the changing room coming off the Championship and One-Day games was really good. The boys have been playing some fantastic cricket and as we’ve seen before they’ve got themselves out of some big holes with both bat and ball.

“You get that belief in those situations when they are cruising along comfortably we can change the game. Certainly in T20, we saw a few wickets the game can change.”

Catch up with the latest episode of the Kent Cricket Podcast below:

Kent face Somerset in their next T20 Blast match on Sunday. Milne has good memories of playing at Taunton as he took a club record 5-11 in last year’s match.

Milne added: “It’s always good to win your first game and gives us confidence going forward. We’ll hope to stand up more with the ball on Sunday.

“It all fell into place last year after Jimmy Neesham took an amazing catch and wickets kept coming. We just need to continue to play as a unit and win games.”

Kent Spitfires squad for Somerset match: Sam Billings (c/wk), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly, Sean Dickson, Calum Haggett, Heino Kuhn, Adam Milne, Harry Podmore, Imran Qayyum, Ivan Thomas.

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