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Harry Kemble, at the Kia Oval
Thursday, July 5, 2012
FriendsLife T20 South Group: Kent 136-8 beat Surrey 88 all out by 48 runs
Kevin Pietersen’s poor record for Surrey continued after his side lost by 48 runs against Kent in the Friends Life T20 south group.
The South African born batsman was out for just seven, LBW to Mark Davies, taking his tally to 15 in three games.
Kent made 136-8 off their allocation with Rob Key and Alex Blake hitting 30s.
And Surrey’s top order crumbled to 18-4 with Mark Davies and Azhar Mahmood taking two wickets apiece in the first four overs.
Only Zafir Ansari (25) and Zander de Bruyn (18) reached double-figures as Surrey were blown away for 88 – their lowest score in 20 over cricket.
Surrey won the toss and elected to bowl - opening with spin from both ends through Murali Kartik and Mathew Spriegel.
Young guns Sam Northeast and Sam Billings opened the innings for the Spitfires.
The 22-year-old continued his good form in the competition, hitting successive fours off Spriegel using his feet.
However, the opener threw his wicket away on 12 when he tried to launch Spriegel for six but could only send it straight up in the air.
Kevin was able to run from mid-on and took a superb catch at mid-on diving forward.
Dirk Nannes kept cricket ageists quiet by surpassing 90mph mark throughout his spell. His quickest delivery being clocked at just under 92mph.
The 36-year-old Australian bowler used all his guile and pace to keep the Kent batsmen in check.
But it was the four Surrey spinners led by the masterful Kartik that restricted the visitors to 137.
Yet paceman Chris Tremlett grabbed the second wicket with a short, wide delivery that Sam Billings could only edge through to Steven Davies behind the stumps to leave Kent 39-2 in the final over of the powerplay.
Tremlett was arguably the pick of the bowlers with two for 23 of his four overs.
The 6ft 7in bowler was playing in only his fourth game of the season and will know that he must find his form if he his to disrupt the settled England attack.
After seven overs Kent were just ticking over six and half runs per over at 47-2.
The Spitfires knew that a score pushing 130 would be defendable against the stellar Surrey batting line up that included Steven Davies, Jason Roy and Pietersen.
Captain Rob Key showed the importance of anchoring the innings with a 35 innings off 31 balls.
He manipulated the field against the spinners before choosing occasionally to throw the kitchen sink behind it – hitting five fours to reach 35 off 31 balls.
Yet, in the 13th over Key gave Pietersen his third catch of the match, driving through the covers off left-arm spinner Zafir Ansari – the fourth slow bowler used in the innings.
After the departure of Key, Alex Blake knocked a useful 35 off 26 balls, while, at the other end, Darren Stevens was caught by Pietersen off the bowling of Kartik.
Azhar Mahmood came and went quickly, stumped by Davies off the bowling of Ansari, while Geraint Jones tried a lap shot off Tremlett and was clean bowled.
Blake had some luck as Nannes’ momentum took him over the rope off the bowling of Ansari but the Australian picked him with Roy taking a good catch.
Next ball Adam Ball was taken in the deep by Rory Burns to put the left-armer on a hat trick, which Simon Cook survived.
The late flurry of wickets meant any hopes from Kent of reaching 150 were extinguished and they had to settle for 136.
Kent knew that James Tredwell would be missed after he replaced the rested Graeme Swann for the remaining ODIs against Australia but it didn’t matter as their opening bowlers, Davies and Mahmood, blew the top order away.
Pietersen, opening again, after batting at three against Sussex, fell for seven, leg-before to the bowling of the medium pace of Davies.
The England batsman’s third failure of the week meant he scored just 15 runs on his return to county cricket.
Surrey bosses would be disappointed that their star man had not made a big as splash in the T20 pool as anticipated.
At 13-2, the Spitfires nosed ahead in the game, giving them a chance of getting once of the two wildcard slots for quarter-finals.
One over later Surrey were three down for just 18.
Azhar Mahmood picked up the other opener Davies caught-behind for 8, leaving Surrey with a mountain to climb at 18-4.
After six over Surrey were 31-4 still over a hundred away from their target of 137.
The home side muddled along to 51-4 at the half way mark with the impressively no-nonsense Zafir Ansari keeping the home side in the contest.
The Cambridge undergraduate has kept his spot in the side, despite rubbing shoulders with some of the country’s top talent and has outshined Pietersen in the last three games.
The all-rounder chipped in with the prize wickets of Rob Key and the former Surrey man Mahmood.
But he was clean bowled by Darren Stevens playing all round a straight one with Surrey needing 74 off 48 balls.
The all rounder then orchestrated the run out of Kartik for nought without facing a ball, dashing in from mid-wicket and under arming at the stumps.
Off-spinner Sam Riley took two wickets in an over. First De Bruyn stumped down the leg-side for 12 and Spriegel was adjudged LBW for one.
Tailender Tremlett was clean bowled for five by Mahmood and it was all over when Nannes was out stumped off the bowling of Ball to inflict Surrey’s lowest T20 total.