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Twenty20 Cup finals day



Twenty20 semi-final, Edgbaston:
Kent 141-5 (19.2 ovs) bt Sussex 140 (19.4 ovs) by 5 wkts

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Kent celebrate at Edgbaston
Kent recovered superbly after a flying start by Sussex

Kent skipper Rob Key hit an unbeaten 68 to lead his side to the Twenty20 final with a five-wicket win over Sussex.

Nine were needed from the final over but Rana Naved bowled two no-balls and Key, who hit eight fours and two sixes, saw Kent home with four balls to spare.

Chris Nash and Murray Goodwin gave Sussex a fine start after they chose to bat, with 59 in the first five overs.

But Kent's slower bowlers, aided by fine fielding, saw nine wickets fall for 59 as Sussex were all out for 140.

New signing Lasith Malinga took the opening over and Nash just cleared the fielder at mid-on for the opening boundary.

Two fours came in the next over from former Sussex all-rounder Yasir Arafat before Nash boldly stepped down the wicket to Malinga and laced two more boundaries.

Simon Cook replaced the enigmatic Sri Lankan but conceded three fours in his first over as the runs kept flowing, and Sussex recorded their highest opening partnenrship in Twenty20 matches.

It was the introduction of the slower bowlers that changed the match as Ryan McLaren ousted Nash when the Sussex opener sliced high to backward point.

Geraint Jones and Chris Adams
Jones expertly whips off the bails to run-out Sussex captain Adams

Darren Stevens continued to peg back the batsmen and removed Luke Wright, the in-form all-rounder, who could never find his touch and, under pressure, top-edged.

James Tredwell's slow off-spinners caused all manner of problems, with Matt Prior failing to properly connect and Michael Yardy deceived as he advanced out of his crease.

The fielding was alert, and Goodwin was surprised by Rob Key's sharpness as he pushed for a second. Robin Martin-Jenkins was also beaten by a direct hit.

Any thoughts of Kent playing conservatively given their modest target were quickly dispelled as Joe Denly and Rob Key took three fours from each of the opening two overs.

Sussex opened with the slower pace of Martin-Jenkins with Prior stood up to the stumps, but after a useful opening delivery was edged to the boundary by Denly, the runs flowed easily.

Key played fearlessly against Pakistan international Naved, walking down the wicket as he bowled to flick one over his shoulder for four.

The Sussex fielding lacked its usual vibrancy, and where the Kent shies hit the target, Sussex saw two early attempts at run-outs fly past the timbers.

Denly, who made 83 for England Lions against India, drove Martin-Jenkins over long-on for six as the 50 came up in the fifth over.

Even Mushtaq Ahmed for once could not provide the magic for Sussex, beginning with a wide and dispatched into the leg-side stands for six twice by Key.

Spin partner Saqlain Mushtaq came into the attack in the next over and dismissed Denly with a doosra that was spooned to deep mid-wicket, where James Kirtley took a neat catch.

Mushtaq got amongst the wickets in the next as Martin van Jaarsveld sweep leaving a scenario of 72 from 73 balls.

The Pakistan spin wizards began to look dangerous on the increasingly dusty surface, but Key broke the shackles with a reverse sweep and conventional sweep in Saqlain's final over.

Matthew Walker shared 41 with Key but swept to deep mid-wicket to leave 31 from 27, which became 28 from 22 when Stevens clipped a James Kirtley slower ball straight to Adams at short mid-wicket.

Naved bowled McLaren to leave 23 from 12 but Sussex had an addiitonal obstacle in the form of the clock, needing to start the final over or face a six-run penalty.

Key had been deprived of the strike but then lashed the first boundary for five overs and hit two more off Kirtley, and Naved's needless profligacy proved decisive.



SEE ALSO
Skipper Adams hails Sussex effort
04 Aug 07 |  Counties
Defiant Glos sink all-star Lancs
04 Aug 07 |  Counties


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