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Rampant Rossington downs Spitfires

Former England Under-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Rossington smashed a competition-best 74 as Middlesex Panthers cruised to a nine-wicket Friends Life t20 win over lacklustre Kent Spitfires at Uxbridge with 27 balls remaining.

Kent, disappointing with the bat and lacking penetration with the ball, slid to their fourth successive defeat and now look highly unlikely to qualify for the knockout stages.

Middlesex, meanwhile, now have three wins from five in the South Division.

Aiming to overhaul Kent's below-par total of 140 for six, the Panthers made light of the asking rate.

Dawid Malan got them off to a flying start by driving two boundaries in Vernon Philander's opening over.

Fellow opener Rossington, 20, joined in the fun by top-edging a six over the keeper's head in Philander's second over and was soon taking charge with four boundaries in an over from Darren Stevens.

At the end of the six powerplay overs Middlesex had 58 on the board. Rossington then pulled a Matt Coles bouncer for six and drove the next, a length ball, on the up to the extra-cover ropes to post his maiden t20 half-century from 28 balls with seven fours and three maximums.

His innings ended on 74 when, in attempting to reverse-sweep James Tredwell, he dragged the ball onto his stumps.

The dismissal ended an opening stand worth 103 with Malan, who carried his bat for an unbeaten 31 to see the Panthers home in tandem with Joe Denly.

Batting first after losing the toss, Kent lost both their openers in the first 20 balls of the game.

Rob Key ballooned a simple catch to mid-off when working to leg against Toby Roland-Jones, while Sam Northeast miscued an attempted pull against Kyle Mills to pick out Neil Dexter at mid-on.

Twenty20 veteran Stevens and rookie Sam Billings joined forces to help Kent regroup and post the visitors' 50 within seven overs.

Stevens then clubbed Ravi Patel for six over midwicket, but the young left-arm spinner gained instant revenge by having the batsman held at long-on by Malan for 25.

Billings followed six balls later, nicking an attempted run down to third man off Dexter into the gloves of Rossington to make it 67 for four.

Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, making his FLt20 season debut having been rested for Kent's opening three games, chipped in with 22 from 21 balls before dragging a pull shot onto his own leg stump to become Roland-Jones’ second victim.

Kent finally reached three figures after 14.3 overs as Middlesex dropped catches to gift lives to both Alex Blake and Philander, but the South African failed to cash in and holed out to Adam Voges at deep midwicket.

The Panthers completed a poor display of ground fielding when Dexter dropped Coles in Mills' final over.

Blake clattered the last ball for four to top score for the Spitfires with 37 from 34 balls, but Kent's total still proved woefully inadequate.

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