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Floodlight failure ends Kent hopes

Kent’s outside hopes of qualifying for the Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-finals were extinguished as a floodlight failure ensured the Spitfires lost their penultimate Group A game against Warwickshire Bears by seven runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

In pursuit of 214 for victory, the Spitfires had reached 113 for four after 24.3 overs – nine runs shy of the D/L par score – when a generator failure to one of the five floodlights at Canterbury interrupted proceedings just before 9pm.  

Talks between the players, umpires and ground officials failed to resolve the issue and led to the abandonment 20 minutes later due to unsafe conditions.

Kent, who needed a seventh win to stay in contention for the knock-out phases, had made a faltering start to their pursuit, losing Rob Key to a simple catch at mid-on.

Off-spinner Ateeq Javid struck again in his next over, having Sam Northeast caught at short midwicket to leave the hosts in trouble at 36 for two.

Brendan Nash and Darren Stevens almost doubled Kent’s total before Nash, backing away to cut a short one from Boyd Rankin, edged to the wicketkeeper.

With Stevens in full flow, Kent posted 100 by the 21st over but, soon after, Fabian Cowdrey was caught behind down the leg side when attempting a paddle against Rikki Clarke.

With the former on 42 and Geraint Jones unbeaten with two, the floodlight nearest the famous lime tree failed after a loud bang and, with half the ground in shadow, the players edged from the field.   

Batting first after losing the toss, basement side Warwickshire made a reasonable start through Will Porterfield and Varun Chopra, who posted 60 for the first wicket within 14 overs.

Kent skipper and England one-day international James Tredwell then disrupted their progress by taking two wickets in consecutive overs.

Chopra perished when attempting to reverse sweep, only to top-edge to Brendan Nash at backward square-leg. Soon after, Jim Troughton slog-swept the off-spinner and picked out Northeast on the ropes at deep midwicket.   

Daren Maddy, who is set to retire next month, scored only four before his indecisive prod at an Adam Riley arm ball saw him depart leg before to make it 76 for three at the halfway point of the Warwickshire innings.  

Porterfield looked set to anchor the visitors’ innings with a chanceless 70-ball half-century with three fours and a six but, nine balls later, the left-hander perished for a well-compiled 57.

Aiming to drive Adam Ball, Porterfield miscued high to cover – where Stevens took a well-judged catch to reduce the visitors to 112 for four.

The Bears regrouped with a fifth-wicket stand of 69 in 8.4 overs between Clarke and Javid until both fell in consecutive overs.

Having muscled eight fours in his stay, Clarke drove on the up against Mitchell Claydon to be caught at long-off. Javid’s 44-ball innings then ended when he went leg before shovelling across the line to Stevens.  

Steffan Piolet gifted Stevens a second wicket as he was bowled heaving to leg in the penultimate over, not that it mattered in the end.

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