Kent crush Surrey at the Kia Oval in Royal London One Day Cup
Last season’s beaten Royal London One-Day Cup finalists Kent Spitfires opened their south group win account for 2019 by trouncing Surrey by eight wickets at the Kia Oval.
Surrey 127 (Dean Elgar 62*; Matthew Milnes 3-37)
Kent 131 - 2 (Daniel Bell-Drummond 41, Matthew Renshaw 32*, Heino Kuhn 36*)
Result - Kent won by 8 wickets
In the battle to avoid this season’s south group wooden spoon, Kent skittled Surrey for 127 inside 36 overs with only Dean Elgar, the South Africa left-hander with 56 Test caps, making it past 15 for an unbeaten 62 from 94 balls.
Kent then made light of the run-chase, coasting home with more than 21-overs to spare courtesy of a cameo 36 from 32 balls from their interim skipper, Heino Kuhn.
Chasing 128 at a modest asking rate of 2.56 an over, Kent had already reduced their target to double figures when Zak Crawley skied a catch to third man.
Daniel Bell-Drummond and Matt Renshaw, the Australian Test batsman, continued their side’s aggressive approach to the pursuit with a second-wicket stand worth 43 that ended when Bell-Drummond (41) fenced at a Conor McKerr leg-cutter to be caught behind.
Despite the fast fading light and squally showers, Kuhn and Renshaw showed all their international experience to steer Spitfires to victory with an unbroken half-century stand to wrap up their side’s win by 4.15pm.
Batting first after winning the toss on an overcast morning in SE11, Surrey made a poor start in the face of some impressive line-and-length bowling from Kent’s new-ball pairing of Harry Podmore and Matt Milnes.
Podmore broke through in the third over of the day when Will Jacks, push-driving away from the body and with firm hands, dragged a delivery onto his stumps via an inside edge.
Four balls later, left-hander Mark Stoneman nicked low to slip after being squared up by late away-sing from Milnes, who then rushed one through the gate to peg back Jamie Smith’s middle stump.
Occasional seamer Bell-Drummond came on as a surprising first change, only to strike with his sixth delivery from the Vauxhall End, a short one that Rory Burns pulled obligingly to mid-wicket to make it 38 for four.
Surrey’s demise continued when Jordan Clark nicked a Bell-Drummond leg-cutter through to the keeper and Ryan Patel skied Renshaw’s first-ball full-toss to short fine leg.
Stuart Meaker pulled a Milnes bouncer down the throat of long leg then Renshaw got one to bounce and brush Freddie van der Bergh’s outside edge for Crawley to pull off a reflex one-handed catch at slip.
Dean Elgar’s 79-ball 50 with two fours and a six helped the hosts limp to a three-figure total, but the dogged accuracy of Fred Klaassen, the Dutch left-arm paceman, was rewarded when he demolished Conor McKerr’s stumps as the tail-ender swished across the line.
Elgar was left high and dry having hit only two fours and a six during his 108 minutes at the crease when former Test team-mate and ex-Kent quick bowler, Morkel, was skittled by a Klaassen yorker to end Surrey’s innings more than an hour before the scheduled lunch interval.
Bell-Drummond, Renshaw and Klaassen bagged two wickets apiece, with Milnes the pick of the Spitfires attack with three for 37.
The former Nottinghamshire seamer said: “To be fair it was quite bowler-friendly at the start of the day, but obviously you’ve still got to put the ball in the right place and I think ‘Podders’ did that nicely.
“We were maybe a bit surprised that Surrey decided to bat first, but they’ve got a quality top order and they wanted to back them. That said, we bowled very well at them and kept the early pressure up throughout.
“Out of my three wickets I think the Jamie Smith dismissal was the best. It felt quite a good delivery to bowl him, the wind helped a bit, but it nipped back off the pitch and bowled him through the gate.
“We’re a young side and pride ourselves on our fielding and today we showed what we’re capable of as an all-round unit. As far as I see it, we have the potential to be the best in the country.”
Surrey - Mark Stoneman, Will Jacks, Dean Elgar, Rory Burns(c), Jamie Smith(wk), Jordan Clark, Ryan Patel, Stuart Meaker, Conor McKerr, Freddie van den Bergh, Morne Morkel
Kent - Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Matthew Renshaw, Heino Kuhn(c), Alex Blake, Ollie Robinson, Adam Rouse(wk), Harry Podmore, Matthew Milnes, Imran Qayyum, Fredrick Klaassen
© Cricket World 2019