Middlesex Panthers kept their Friends Life t20 hopes alive with a third win in five matches when they comprehensively defeated Kent by nine wickets at a sweltering Uxbridge Cricket Club ground. After the visitors were put in to bat first, they scored a well below par 140-6 in their twenty overs before a sparkling innings of 74 by Adam Rossington from just 37 balls set up the win with 26 balls to spare.
Middlesex fielded the same side that suffered a narrow 15 run defeat against Surrey on Friday night and after Neil Dexter won the toss for Middlesex, Sam Northeast and Rob Key opened the batting for a Kent side that had lost all of its matches so far. Six runs came off the opening over from Kyle Mills and a further six runs in Toby Roland-Jones’ over before Key (7) holed out to Josh Davey at mid-on, off the last ball of the over.
Sam Billings joined Northeast but after four runs came off the third over of the innings from Gareth Berg, Kyle Mills switched to the Gatting Way End and Northeast (4) hit the first ball of the over straight to Neil Dexter who took the catch at mid-on. Kent had reached only 18-2 after four overs before Darren Stevens hit Ravi Patel for successive fours in the next over. Billings hit Gareth Berg for a six and with twelve runs coming off Ollie Rayner’s first over, Kent reached 50-2 after seven overs.
Ravi Patel returned at the Gatting Way End and after Stevens hit him for a six and a four, Stevens was caught at long-on by Dawid Malan for 25 (off 15 balls). Geraint Jones joined Billings and they scored six runs off the first four balls of Neil Dexter’s opening over before Billings was caught at the wicket by Adam Rossington for 22. Alex Blake joined Jones with the score on 67-4 in the 9th over and the pair added thirty runs for the fifth wicket before Jones was bowled by Toby Roland-Jones for 22.
Vernon Philander joined Blake but the pair were tied down by Neil Dexter who bowled his four overs straight through to record figures of 1-20 and Toby Roland-Jones who finished with figures of 2-19 from four overs. The total reached 114-5 after 17 overs before Ravi Patel missed a chance offered by Philander at short fine-leg. The miss cost two runs but Mills had Philander (8) caught by Adam Voges on the mid-wicket boundary, two balls later.
The next delivery was a no-ball from Mills and Blake hit the resulting free-hit for a six. Matt Coles and Alex Blake added a further sixteen runs in the final two overs of the innings as Kent ended on 140-6. Blake was 37 not out off 34 balls with Kyle Mills finishing with figures of 2-28 from 4 overs.
After Adam Rossington took a single off the second ball of the opening over from Vernon Philander, Dawid Malan scored two fours in the remainder of the over. Mitch Claydon conceded just a single in the second over before Rossington hit Philander for a six and a four off successive deliveries. Malan scored a four in Claydon’s second over before Adam Rossington hit four fours in Darren Stevens only over as Middlesex reached 45-0 after five overs.
Thirteen runs came off Coles’ first over with Rossington hitting a second six and Rossington hit Coles’ for a six and a four in his second over to reach a 28 ball fifty. The total reached 89-0 after just nine overs before thirteen runs came off Riley’s first over which included a four and a six by Rossington which was caught by Northeast but he stepped over the boundary in taking the catch at mid-wicket.
The total reached 103-0 in the 11th over before Rossington attempted another reverse sweep and was bowled by James Tredwell for a magnificent 74 off 37 balls which included 4 sixes and 10 fours. Joe Denly joined Dawid Malan who had been content to let Rossington have his head, making 25 out of the opening partnership of 103.
Tredwell bowled his four overs straight through to finish with figures of 1-18 before Denly hastened the Middlesex win by scoring 33 not out off twenty balls as Middlesex reached the target with nine wickets and 26 balls to spare; Dawid Malan anchored the innings to finish on 31 not out (off 38 balls).
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