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REPORT & HIGHLIGHTS: Sharks shot down by Spitfires at Canterbury


Ed Joyce top-scored with 36 for the Sharks

Sussex Sharks are still searching for their first Royal London One-Day Cup victory of the season following an eight-wicket defeat to Kent Spitfires at Canterbury today.

Having dismissed the visitors for 154, Kent sped to victory with 115 balls remaining courtesy of workmanlike unbeaten 55 from Daniel Bell-Drummond and decent contributions from Joe Denly (48) and Sam Northeast (32).

The Spitfires, who reached the semi-finals of last season’s competition, batted responsibly on a tricky, two- paced pitch to fully deserve their emphatic win.

Denly and Bell-Drummond posted 58 for the first wicket before Denly holed out to long-on off the bowling of Chris Liddle, before Northeast also tamely chipped to mid-on against Michael Yardy, but they proved the only successes of the day for the visitors.

Batting first after losing the toss, the Sussex top order never mastered their timing on a pitch that offered some assistance to the Spitfires seam bowlers. Luke Wright threatened to break free with a couple of consecutive boundaries against Matt Coles, but otherwise theirs was a subdued innings from start to finish as they succumbed with 5.3 overs of their allocation remaining.

Mitch Claydon started the rout with a sharp one-handed catch to his right after he had bamboozled Chris Nash (7) with a slower ball. Matt Machan (4) departed LBW when he aimed to cut one too close to him, a Claydon off-cutter that jagged down the Canterbury slope to glance his back pad.

Wright (17) was bowled by a full length ball from Coles that pegged back off stump to make it 33 for 3 at the end of the 10-over powerplay. Australian batsman George Bailey (5) went when he drove back a sharp catch to Darren Stevens, who then had Craig Cachopa (13) caught on the ropes at deep midwicket. It was Stevens’ 100th wicket in domestic List A games.

On his last appearance at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Yardy went for a sixth-ball duck when he played around a Stevens off-cutter then Will Beer (14) nicked to slip to see James Tredwell snaffle a sharp chance at slip.

Top-scorer Ed Joyce, having scored 36 in 100 minutes, fell victim to another stunning Kentish catch when his miscued drive against Matt Hunn was superbly caught diving low down, one-handed and on the run by Blake coming in off the deep extra-cover ropes.

Ollie Robinson blasted a cameo 30 before holing out to mid-on then last man Liddle (2) chopped on against Coles to leave Kent to chase a modest asking rate of 3.5 an over for victory. Stevens, man-of-the-match for his 4 for 29 return, was comfortably the pick of Kent’s attack, while Claydon, Coles and Hunn chipped in with two apiece.

LISTEN: Hear the thoughts of Mark Robinson following Sussex's defeat to Kent today HERE (courtesy of BBC Sussex)

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