Middlesex beat Kent at Radlett

Claydon bowls for Kent

Claydon bowls for Kent - Credit: Archant

Middlesex produced a superb bowling display to record an 87 run win over Kent in the Royal London One Day Cup at Radlett Cricket Club.

Ollie Rayner led the attack, taking four wickets as Kent capitulated in their chase of Middlesex’s 260.

Darren Stevens and Sam Billings looked to have Kent on the way to victory with their fourth-wicket stand until Stevens holed out to Toby Roland-Jones on the boundary. That turned the game in Middlesex’s favour.

Roland-Jones found the edge of Fabian Cowdrey’s bat and then, in the following over, the 36th, Billings was caught after top-edging an attempted reverse sweep off Rayer. Billings’ wicket was key - he top-scored for Kent with 68 after being dropped on 22.

Rayner struck again in the 38th to get Matt Coles out. Coles survived a big appeal for LBW but he was on his way back to the clubhouse after the very next ball. He misjudged a slower ball from Rayner and his stumps paid the price.

The slower ball also accounted for Alex Blake, who tried to smack Rayner out of the ground but didn’t middle it and Dawid Malan safely caught the ball on the boundary.

Roland-Jones produced the ball of the match to send James Tredwell’s offstump spinning out of the turf for the ninth wicket, and Junaid Khan ensured victory, catching Mitchell Claydon off James Harris.

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It was a victory that looked unlikely after Radlett set a seemingly low total, albeit on a slow pitch.

After Sam Robson was out for 15, Malan and Nick Compton put 46 runs on the board for the second wicket. The partnership was ended in controversy. Compton was hit on the pad by Tredwell but it looked to high to go on to hit the stumps. The umpire saw it differently, and Compton was out for 17.

Middlesex captain Eoin Morgan didn’t hang around for long, walking for three after a superb one-handed catch from Coles. Malan followed for a fantastic 47 in the 25th over as Middlesex reached 97-4.

The hosts got bogged down for the next 10 overs but Nick Gubbins and James Franklin kept the scoreboard ticking over. They put 78 on the board before Franklin, after passing his fifty, picked out Cowdrey in the field, who pouched the catch.

Gubbins made his half-century soon after, pulling Ivan Thomas for six. He was out two balls later. After being dropped on 54, he hit Thomas back down the ground where Blake made a stunning sliding catching after making up a lot of ground.

Roland-Jones cracked an unbeaten 31, including two sixes and two fours, to add some late impetus as Middlesex’s innings closed on 260. It didn’t seem to be enough but, led by Rayner, Middlesex bowled brilliantly to pick up the win.