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Kent Spitfires end their Friends Life t20 campaign with victory against Middlesex Panthers

Rob Key
Rob Key

Kent Spitfires captain Rob Key bowled by Essex Eagles' James Franklin on Friday night at Canterbury Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kent concluded their Friends Life t20 campaign with a three-wicket victory against Middlesex Panthers on Sunday.

Already unable to reach the quarter-final stage after Friday night’s home defeat to Essex at Canterbury, Spitfires signed off with a victory, after winning the toss and deciding to field first at Uxbridge.

Darren Stevens was the pick of the Kent attack with figures of 3-23, Azhar Mahmood took 2-22 and Adam Ball 2-18 as Middlesex were restricted to 124-9 in 20 overs.

In reply, Kent lost opener Sam Billings for 10 and skipper Rob Key soon departed for just three. Sam Northeast made 21 but his exit left Spitfires 47-3 after eight overs.

Stevens threatened to see Spitfires home, blasting three sixes on his way to 26 from 18 balls, before he was dismissed by ex-Kent man Neil Dexter.

Mahmood and Alex Blake continued the big hitting by both despatching sixes as they took the game away from the hosts.

Blake hit 22 from 23 balls but became Dexter’s second victim with the Spitfires 10 runs short of victory.

Mahmood was then run out for 30 and, with the scores tied, Ball was bowled for four. Spitfires finally got over the finishing line with six balls to spare thanks to Simon Cook.

Against Essex, Kent’s batting let them down as they lost by 23 runs.

Stevens took 3-14 from four overs but Essex were indebted to a 98-run second-wicket partnership between Mark Pettini (59) and Greg Smith (32) to help them to 149-5.

Northeast and Stevens were both run out in Kent’s reply as the Spitfires struggled to keep up with the required runrate.

Geraint Jones (24 not out) and Ball (18) delivered some late blows but the damage was already done as Kent reached 126-9.

Mahmood had impressed on Thursday when Kent’s beat his former side, Surrey, at The Oval. Mahmood took 3-12 as Kent stormed to a 48-run win.

Key and Blake both made 35 on a turning wicket as Spitfires scored 136-8. Surrey were then dismissed for just 88 in less than 18 overs, their lowest-ever t20 total.

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