Kent 192 for 8 (Denly 110, Cox 45, Green 3-29, Andersson 3-32) beat Middlesex 137 for 8 (Leaning 3-30) by 55 runs
If Kent’s defence of their T20 crown was going badly, with defeats of their first 5 matches, Denly was feeling the ache greater than most. For a participant with 44 England appearances throughout three codecs, a strike price of 93.60 per 100 balls was not the form of consequence he was used to.
He will likely be feeling so much higher now. His uninhibited 110 from 58 balls on a gripping, used floor, was completely divorced from the difficulties skilled elsewhere, a targeted try and hit his approach into kind which paid off handsomely. It swept Kent to the unlikely riches of 192 for 8 and an eventual 55-run win as Middlesex by no means remotely got here to phrases with the chase.
One win in six is not any form of begin in a seek for a top-four place, however Kent have too many attributes to be written off with the season not but at its mid-point. They will wish to comply with this up in opposition to Essex Eagles in Chelmsford on Tuesday as they start a run of fixtures away from Canterbury.
When kind is misplaced, and the years are creeping by, the knowledge of crowds is finest prevented – definitely the form of crowd that sorts questions into Google. Enter Denly’s title into the search engine and it provided: “People additionally ask: Is Joe Denly retired?” Ouch, not what you wish to hear at 36 when your season has been disrupted with hamstring hassle, you continue to do not have a run to your title within the Championship, and you’re questioning whether or not you’ll ever get issues on the highway.
He put that proper by blazing the ball to leg with utter conviction as he registered his fifth Blast hundred. Eighty-nine of his runs flew over the leg-side, together with all his six sixes and the vast majority of his 9 fours. He was notably harsh on the Sri Lanka-born spinner, Thilan Walallawita, and the debutant seamer, Toby Greatwood, who had received a chance after 5 wickets in opposition to Surrey 2nds earlier within the week. Luke Hollman was additionally seen off in a single over of mayhem.
Jordan Cox is one other Kent batter who has been struggling for impetus, however he supplied in a position help in a file Kent second-wicket stand of 157 in 14.3 overs, Daniel Bell-Drummond having fallen lbw to the third ball of the match. Any assumption that situations had been straightforward was scotched the minute that Denly departed, slog sweeping Chris Green to deep midwicket with 18 balls remaining, and Kent misplaced three extra wickets to catches within the deep in opposition to Martin Andersson within the area of 5 balls. Even so, when Jack Leaning was run out for six, chasing a second off the ultimate ball of the innings, it might have been fairly a pessimist who feared that Kent had thrown it away.
As it occurred, Kent’s spin bowlers proved vastly superior. The South African George Linde and Qais Ahmed, a younger Afghan, bowled effectively sufficient to recommend they are often on the centre of a Kent problem that may now collect drive.
Stephen Eskinazi briefly threatened earlier than Qais triggered him to play on for 30; Linde, who discovered marked flip at occasions, had Joe Cracknell caught at deep midwicket after which held a return catch in a deceptively relaxed method when Andersson drove fiercely again to his proper. There had been three wickets, too, for Leaning, as Kent made good use of Sam Billings’ resolution to take first use of a worn floor.
David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps