REPORT & HIGHLIGHTS: Sharks beaten by Kent at Canterbury13-Aug-2014
Sussex lost out in a rain affected clash in Canterbury this evening, as Kent retained their unbeaten tag in the Royal London One-Day Cup and stretched their Group B leadership to four points, with a hard-earned 59 run win.
A heavy shower during the break between innings coupled with a second shower early in the Sussex reply left the visitors in the driving seat when facing a revised target of 243 in 35 overs.
However, James Tredwell’s seven-over stint of four for 27 restored Kent’s superiority and helped land a deserved fourth win, and with it, almost certainly, a home tie in the quarter finals.
Having restricted Kent to 299, the Sussex reply started uncertainly once Luke Wright (21) fell in the seventh over. His rasping drive against Doug Bollinger picked out Ben Harmison diving to his left at cover point.
Three overs later, Chris Nash (24) feathered a Darren Stevens away swinger to slip just moments before rain arrived for the second time sparking the loss of a further ten overs.
After the resumption, Craig Cachopa, the young New Zealand-raised batsman, got his side ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis rate for the first time with a brace of fours off Darren Stevens.
The 22-year-old right-hander undid his good work in the next over, however, lobbing a simple catch to mid-off against off-spinner Tredwell, who then trimmed the off stump of Ed Joyce (47) as the left-hander made room to cut.
Kent pushed further ahead under the D/L Method when Calum Haggett snared Matt Machan (13) lbw with the third ball of a new spell, then, when Mitch Claydon returned to rearrange Ben Brown’s stumps any lingering hopes of a Sussex win evaporated.
Batting first having lost the toss, Kent would have expected to post in excess of 320 after a reasonably bright start on a parched, white pitch that appeared conducive to batting.
The hosts had 36 on the board before acting captain Sam Northeast (20) instinctively followed and edged behind off a Lewis Hatchett leg-cutter that went down the St Lawrence.
Spitfires’ second-wicket partners Daniel Bell-Drummond and Harmison (33) repaired the damage with a no-thrills stand of 69 in 13.1 overs that ended when Steffan Piolet’s slower ball fooled Harmison into chipping a catch to long-off.
Fabian Cowdrey upped the run-rate tempo with an eye-catching 40, while Bell-Drummond posted his half-century from 60 balls and with four fours.
In tandem the pair added 74 in 11.1 overs before Cowdrey fell lbw when walking across his stumps and aiming to leg against Chris Liddle to make it 179 for three.
With Bell-Drummond seemingly well established, Kent called their batting powerplay soon after only for the young right-hander to clip the very first ball from Yasir Arafat straight to cover to go for 83.
Kent never re-established their momentum thereafter and, whilst looking secure in nurdling for ones and twos, a succession of batsmen perished when attempting anything more lavish.
Stevens (24) was yorked when driving at Arafat who then had Alex Blake (20) caught on the deep cover ropes to finish with figures of four for 49 against his former county.
Sam Billings did his best to farm the strike in posting a chirpy unbeaten 51 off 39 balls with three fours and six, but two runs outs and two more miscues saw Kent dismissed with one ball of their innings remaining.
LISTEN: BBC Sussex sport spoke to Mark Robinson after the match. Please click HERE to listen to the post-match reaction