Spitfires flying after victory
Kent Spitfires moved joint top of the Yorkshire Bank 40 Group A via a nervy three-wicket win over Worcestershire Royals in a game reduced to 25 overs per side due to rain.
Chasing 111 for victory under the lights at Canterbury, Kent slumped to 45 for six as Worcestershire scented their second win.
But a 47-run seventh-wicket stand between brothers-in-law Geraint Jones and James Tredwell bailed the Spitfires out of trouble and saw them to the cusp of a victory ultimately secured with 11 balls to spare.
New Kent skipper Tredwell held his nerve and timed the ball sweetly for his unbeaten 42 from 40 balls, while Jones contributed a cameo 30 as Kent claimed their third win in four YB40 starts.
The Spitfires made an inauspicious start to their run chase when Sam Billings skied a return catch to Jack Shantry, who then won an appeal for leg before against Brendan Nash playing across the line.
Darren Stevens checked a lofted drive against Gareth Andrew to clip an overhead catch to the bowler then another Shantry in-ducker trapped Ben Harmison leg before for a third-ball duck.
The home collapse continued when Rob Key pushed inside the line of a Daryl Mitchell off-cutter, who then celebrated a second success when Adam Ball drove a low catch to mid-on.
That only brought Tredwell and Jones together, and they duly started a rescue act that Matt Coles accompanied the former in completing.
Batting first having lost the toss following a 140-minute delay for rain, Worcestershire made the worst possible start when Moeen Ali fell to only the second ball of the game.
Working to leg against a Mark Davies delivery that held its line against the slope, the ball caught the leading edge of Moeen’s bat and flew to Nash at backward point.
With 13 on the board, Mitchell fenced at a lifting delivery from Coles, who claimed 4-20, to edge to first slip.
Thilan Samaraweera crept into double figures before he fell to the first of two stunning catches by Kent. Clipping off his legs towards deep midwicket, the right-hander watched as fielder Billings, backpeddling towards the boundary, caught the ball then immediately tossed it into the air before re-crossing the rope to reclaim the catch on his return to the outfield.
Alexei Kervezee, the Royals’ top-scorer with 27 from 31 balls, perished to an even better catch that made it 50 for four. Slicing an attempted straight drive, Kervezee saw Harmison throw up his right arm when running back towards the pavilion to claim a dramatic one-handed catch as the ball dropped over his right shoulder.
Mark Davies snaffled another sharp catch at mid-off to account for Neil Pinner then Coles returned to demolish the stumps of Gareth Andrew and have Ben Cox caught at long-leg from a pre-meditated paddle sweep.
Brett D’Oliveira was run out attempting a second to long-on, but 10th-wicket partners David Lucas and Shantry at least batted out the overs.