Kent prevail in dead rubber
Kent beat Middlesex by three wickets with an over to spare in their final Friends Life t20 South Group game at Uxbridge.
The ground staff did well to make conditions playable after the heavy showers of the past few days. However, the amount of rainfall had taken its toll and Middlesex struggled to reach 124 for nine after Kent put them in on a sluggish pitch with a sodden outfield where the ball often plugged on landing.
There were only 11 boundaries - three sixes and eight fours - in Middlesex’s entire innings and none at all after the 15th over.
Kent did not fare much better, hitting only seven fours, but they cleared the boundary rope six times and a fifth-wicket stand of 50 in seven overs between Azhar Mahmood and Alex Blake proved decisive.
Blake hit two maximums, one of which struck a house across the road in Gatting Way, in his 22 off 23 balls and Azhar had made 30 off 26 with two fours and one six when Steven Crook followed through to run him out in the penultimate over.
Paul Stirling launched the Middlesex innings with two fours before lofting Mark Davies to mid-on and Steven Crook had struck two sixes when he pulled Simon Cook to midwicket.
Dawid Malan did not get very far and it was left to captain Neil Dexter to try to hold his side together.
Dexter made 42 off 38 balls with four fours but then skied Darren Stevens, the pick of Kent’s attack with 3-23, to mid-on and Middlesex fell away with Tom Scollay the only other batsman to get into double-figures.
Kent did not find scoring easy either and both Sam Billings and Roy Key fell cheaply to mistimed shots, but Sam Northeast gave them a platform with 21 off 23 balls before he holed out to deep midwicket.
Stevens provided timely acceleration with three sixes in his 26 off 18 deliveries, before Azhar and Blake made victory a formality.
Both teams had already seen their chances of securing a quarter-final berth disappear.