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Matt Parkinson takes hat-trick as Kent Spitfires (205-8) beat Middlesex (107) by 98 runs in Vitality Blast at Chelmsford

A first-ever hat-trick from Matt Parkinson sealed a flying start for Kent Spitfires in the Vitality Blast on Friday night.

Playing Middlesex at Chelmsford, with Lord’s unavailable as a venue to the hosts, Kent made 205-8 thanks to a half-century for Joe Denly before Middlesex were bowled out for 107 in less than 15 overs.

Matt Parkinson - took his first-ever hat-trick for Kent Spitfires on Friday night. Picture: Keith Gillard
Matt Parkinson - took his first-ever hat-trick for Kent Spitfires on Friday night. Picture: Keith Gillard

Parkinson, who returned figures of 4-25 in four overs, said: “It's my first professional hat-trick. It was fun and it is obviously nice to take wickets.

“It's been a fairly tough start to the season, so I've earned those wickets I think.

"The first six overs we bowled fantastic. I thought the seamers were all fantastic. To have that start in the first six overs made mine and Marcus O’Riordan’s job that much easier.

"It was a fantastic performance. Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond are absolute guns and so for those two to get 70 in the first six was brilliant.

“At one stage it looked like we weren't going to get 200 but the way Joe Denly played was fantastic."

It was a far cry from Parkinson’s tough start to the County Championship season where he’s had to bowl more than 220 overs and has taken 18 wickets at an average of 52.66.

The hat-trick saw him take the wickets of Jack Davies, Tom Helm and Henry Brookes in his third over.

Daniel Bell-Drummond and England opener Zak Crawley made an explosive start, each striking Blake Cullen (3-47) for huge sixes in the third over as they posted a 50-stand within 23 balls.

It took a super catch running back at mid-wicket by Leus du Plooy to end Crawley’s effort on 26, but Bell-Drummond continued the assault, pummelling Henry Brookes back over his head for six before being dropped by Joe Cracknell in the deep.

The miss wasn’t costly as Tom Helm dived full length at deep mid-on to send Bell-Drummond on his way for 38. It was the first of two in two balls for the impressive Luke Hollman (3-27) as Sam Billings suffered a first-ball duck. Hollman would snaffle a third when Tawanda Muyeye (29) struck him straight to Cracknell to leave Kent 127-4 in the 14th over.

Denly was though in no mood to see a collapse and played the innings of substance, striking the ball powerfully straight and employing the scoop to good effect in a well-paced effort.

Joey Evison and Marcus O’Riordan both hit sixes in cameos with Denly’s 56 in 33 balls containing seven fours and two sixes as Kent made 205-8 - the last three overs yielding 42 runs.

Middlesex promoted du Plooy to opener, but the move backfired as he fell for 11 bowled by Grant Stewart.

Ryan Higgins’ stay was brutal yet brief, one huge six followed by a mishit which ballooned to mid-off, Beyers Swanepoel the bowler to profit and skipper Stephen Eskinazi also holed out on the fence to give Stewart (2-22) a second wicket, leaving Middlesex 45-3 in the fifth over.

Eyes were now on Max Holden who made 121 in the same fixture last season. There would be no repeat as he drilled one straight to Crawley on the boundary at mid-off from the spin of O’Riordan and at 49-4 the hosts were in a mess.

Joe Cracknell down at an unfamiliar position of six rather than at the top of the order came and went, bowled by Parkinson for three.

Davies (23) blossomed briefly but then came Parkinson’s party piece to hasten the end of the rout with Xavier Bartlett’s first wicket for the club completing an excellent evening for the Spitfires.

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