RSS feeds from ecb.co.uk

Domestic news RSS

Middlesex crowned Twenty20 kings

Ecb Logo Gutter Icon 135x160

Middlesex ended a 15-year wait for silverware by claiming a tense three-run victory over holders Kent to lift the Twenty20 Cup at the Rose Bowl.

Without any trophy of note since winning the County Championship in 1993, Middlesex opened the gates to massive financial rewards by restricting Kent to 184 for five in reply to their daunting total of 187 for six.

Needing 16 for victory off the final over, Middlesex looked to have thrown away the chance of victory when a four-run overthrow from Dawid Malan left Kent needing only six off three balls.

But seamer Tyron Henderson kept his nerve and bowled two successive dot balls to finish the game and secure a famous triumph for Middlesex.

Having won the toss and deciding to bat first in the final, the onus was on Middlesex to set a competitive enough total to stretch Kent's talented line-up.

They suffered an early setback with opener Billy Godleman being bowled by Pakistan seamer Yasir Arafat in the third over, but that just accelerated the arrival of hard-hitting South African Henderson at the crease.

He played a key role in the semi-final win over Durham earlier in the day and once again provided the impetus for Middlesex by hammering 44 off 33 balls, which included four fours and two sixes.

But just as he seemed set to unleash another really destructive innings, Henderson drove all-rounder Ryan McLaren towards Kent captain Robert Key at cover who claimed the catch.

Owais Shah

Owais Shah played shots all around the wicket in his 75

It promised to be a key moment in the final, but with nine overs remaining England batsman Owais Shah picked up Henderson's mantle in devastating fashion and propelled Middlesex to their massive total.

Shah took a particular liking to off-spinner James Tredwell, hitting him for three successive sixes and effectively hitting him out of the attack during a stunning innings of 75 off only 25 balls.

His innings, which included five sixes and six fours, was ended when he was bowled by McLaren with three overs remaining with Middlesex on course to break the 200-barrier.

They failed to reach that target primarily because of Pakistan seamers Azhar Mahmood and Arafat, who combined superbly in the final three overs to concede only 18 runs and claim two further wickets with a mixture of slower balls and yorkers.

Needing a solid start if they were to have any chance of overhauling Middlesex's total, they were given one with captain Key dominating an 89-run stand spanning only nine overs with opening partner Joe Denly.

Key hit a six and nine fours in his 52 off 28 balls but once again Middlesex's spinners dragged the game back in their direction with 39-year-old Shaun Udal claiming 1-21 from his four overs on his return to his former Hampshire home.

His efforts earmarked Middlesex as strong favourites going into the final over but a disastrous throw from Malan from long-off evaded several fielders and the wicketkeeper and allowed Justin Kemp and Mahmood to run four and set up a thrilling climax.

But Henderson bowled successive dot balls off the final two deliveries with Kemp run-out on 49 to seal Middlesex's triumph and possible path to untold riches in the new era of Twenty20 cricket.

Kent had reached their second successive final with a 14-run victory in the opening semi-final against Essex, whose bid for the final stumbled on two run-outs in the final stages of their innings.

Middlesex's progress to the final was far more comfortable after they cruised to an eight-wicket victory with 4.2 overs remaining after restricting favourites Durham to a modest 138 for six.

Middlesex's stunning triumph over Kent secures their place in Antigua later this year to play in a series of challenge matches against Trinidad and Tobago and England, which could earn each member of their squad thousands of pounds, plus a potential £2.5million prize money for winning the Champions League.

County highlights

Jon Lewis promo

Watch highlights from every LV= County Championship match all summer - plus weekly round-ups of the best of the action in Divisions One and Two

Get our free apps

Apps Promo

Download the ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phones and get live scores, news, video and other services on the move