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Kent still in the hunt

Rob Key

Rob Key supplied the early impetus to Kent's successful pursuit of 183, hitting 45 off 42 balls in a comfortable six-wicket victory

Kent kept alive their hopes of reaching the Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-finals with a convincing victory over Leicestershire in their Group C clash at Grace Road.

After dismissing the Foxes for 182 in 38.1 overs, Kent cruised to their target with little trouble to clinch a six-wicket win with 6.4 overs to spare.

Joe Denly and Robert Key provided the platform for the victory with an opening partnership of 86 in 15 overs.

Then, after four wickets fell for 36 runs, Darren Stevens and Alex Blake steered Kent home with an unbroken stand of 73.

Leicestershire, who have not won at home in the competition since beating Nottinghamshire in their first match in April, fell away badly after making a solid start to their innings.

Put in to bat, they raced to 52 for one in the eight overs of powerplay with James Benning and Jacques Du Toit sharing an opening stand of 44 before Benning was bowled by a well disguised slower ball from Matt Coles.

The run-out of Du Toit for 25 six overs later triggered a collapse which saw four wickets fall for 10 runs in four overs, leaving Leicestershire struggling on 81 for five.

The innings was given some much-needed backbone by Matthew Boyce and Tom New, who joined forces in a sixth-wicket partnership of 79 in 16 overs.

The two left-handers played sensibly but took their opportunities to pick up boundaries off anything loose.

However, the stand was finally broken by some clever bowling from leg-spinner Malinga Bandara, who had Boyce smartly stumped by Geraint Jones as he stretched forward. He had made 41 off 58 balls.

Although New continued to defy the Kent attack with an unbeaten 47, the innings folded alarmingly with the last three wickets tumbling for 11 runs in 13 balls.

Coles finished with 3-27 and there was two wickets apiece for Bandara and Simon Cook as Leicestershire were bowled out with 11 balls unused.

Denly and Key gave Kent a flying start with a succession of boundaries. Denly hit five fours and a six in his 40 and Key seven fours before being trapped lbw by Matthew Hoggard for 45.

Stevens and Blake ensured Kent remained on top with a brisk unbroken fifth-wicket stand, Stevens hitting the winning boundary off Alex Wyatt to finish 42 not out.

Blake was unbeaten on 41 off 40 balls, having hit six fours and a six, but one unusual note was that there was not a single catch in a game in which 14 wickets fell.