Kent 257 for 1 (Kuhn 114*, Bell-Drummond 79) beat Nottinghamshire 255 for eight (Mullaney 90, Fletcher 53*, Podmore four for 57) by 9 wickets
In a consideration of essentially the most influential abroad recruits min county cricket this summer time, there are few causes to look additional than Kent. The space across the channel ports is perhaps at risk of turning into a lorry park as Brexit talks drag on, however down at Canterbury the imports of Matt Henry and Heino Kuhn have been a outstanding success story.
Henry, whose 43 wickets at 11.05 have left him streets forward within the Professional Cricketers’ Association MVP desk for the Championship, has gained most consideration, however Kuhn has additionally had a serious affect on Kent’s progress to the semi-finals of the Royal London Cup.
Kuhn’s third 50-over hundred of the season possessed such authority that the holders, Nottinghamshire, had been distributed with by 9 wickets with greater than 14 overs to spare. Nottinghamshire’s 255 for eight represented a decent restoration from 34 for four, however Kuhn swallowed it wholesale with an unbeaten 124 from 114 balls as Kent secured a semi-final assembly in opposition to Worcestershire on Sunday.
Kuhn made little impression when he opened for South Africa in all 4 Tests on their tour of England final 12 months, averaging solely 14.12 with a prime rating of 34. An opportunity that maybe he imagined would by no means come led to a matter of weeks and in March, at 34, he accepted a Kolpak take care of Kent. If he continues batting on this method, it should serve him for a great few years but.
Notts had Jake Ball and Harry Gurney again of their seam assault, however Kuhn, aggressive from the outset, made mild work of each on a pitch that had settled into a wonderful batting floor. Gurney’s first two overs value 27 and Kuhn had 25 of them. No Nottinghamshire bowlers managed to comprise him and, with Daniel Bell-Drummond making an not easily seen contribution alongside him, Kent’s opening stand stretched to 194 in 28.three overs earlier than Matt Carter had Bell-Drummond stumped.
The match hurried to a conclusion with Joe Denly, who has stood in for Sam Billings as Kent captain for a lot of the season, lofting Carter’s offspin majestically for 3 straightish sixes in a showman’s half-century comprising 5 sixes in all and made in solely 27 balls.
Billings, launched like Ball from England’s ODI squad, by no means obtained to the crease, and must flip his attentions to Worcester as he makes an attempt to make his mark in a season that has introduced him solely 10 runs in 4 Royal London innings and no look but within the Championship. This effervescent cricketer has many wonderful qualities and, as he marks his 27th birthday on Friday, the reward he most deserves as he enters the height years of his profession is to really feel the solar on his again and the ball on his bat.
Nottinghamshire had not met Kent in a knockout tie for the reason that Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final again in 1989 – a 12 months wherein they went on to win the competitors – however such good omens had been forgotten on a windy morning as Storm Hector, the strongest June storm for 30 years, was joined by Storm Harry, within the form of Harry Podmore, who may not have gotten a sport had not Mitch Claydon tweaked a groin in coaching the night earlier than, however who eliminated 4 of the highest six in returning four for 57.
A poke from Tom Moores, a toe-ended drive from Chris Nash and a pull down the throat of deep sq. leg by Riki Wessels, who had been markedly restrained for the primary 10 overs, gave Podmore surprising riches. Henry’s sole wicket was an necessary contribution as fellow Kiwi Ross Taylor was lbw for nought to a full-length ball.
Steven Mullaney orchestrated the restoration, his 90 from 108 balls calmly made and replete along with his favorite forays over the off aspect. England Lions are about to achieve a shrewd, if understated, captain for the triangular sequence in opposition to India A and West Indies A. He was Podmore’s ultimate sufferer, an tried heave down the bottom arcing to quick third man.
Those who assumed that Notts had been spent upon his departure had not reckoned with the bowling bulwark, Luke Fletcher. The 28 balls after Mullaney’s demise introduced 57 and Fletcher smote an unbeaten 54 from 34 balls, his highest rating in List A cricket, to the type of cheers that recognized him as one of the vital well-liked gamers within the sport.
There was muscle, slightly tomfoolery and a second to place your coronary heart in your mouth when he ducked into a brief ball from Matt Henry, solely to boost his bat in entrance of his helmet in defensive defiance. Notts followers chuckled throughout the interval over how Fletcher had hauled them again into the sport; Kuhn quickly proved he had performed nothing of the kind.