| Kent v Surrey
The Surrey Lions gave the Kent Spitfires a seven-wicket mauling in the opening Twenty20 Cup qualifier in front of a sun-baked crowd of 7,000 at Beckenham.
Much of the Spitfires innings was played in near silence as the hosts misfired to a below-par total of 140 for eight from their 20 overs.
In contrast, Surrey went off with all guns blazing in reply with Twenty20 expert and acting Lions’ skipper Ali Brown leading from the front with 36 from 25 balls and with six fours.
Brown and James Benning added 68 for the first wicket before Justin Kemp took a brace of wickets in two balls to at least give Kent a glimmer of hope.
Brown holed out to Cook at long off then, next ball up, Dominic Thornely edged to Niall O’Brien who snatched the chance at the second attempt stood up to the stumps.
But Surrey, who have only lost one Twenty20 tie and that happened to be last year’s final, then showed their expertise in the format as Benning and Rikki Clarke re-grouped in style.
Benning hit a six onto the roof of Kent’s committee marquee to reach his maiden Twenty20 half-century from 30 balls and with eight fours to go with his six.
The pair hoisted the Surrey hundred inside 10 overs and after that they were in a position to free wheel across the finish line.
Benning hit a further six over long-on off James Tredwell and perished for 66 from 37 balls to a catch at long-off when trying to clear the ropes for a third time.
Jonathan Batty (19) and Clarke (13) suffered no further alarms in reaching the win with four overs to spare.
The Spitfires innings never really got off the ground and a low-key start failed to ignite the passions of the crowd, many of whom seemed to spend much of their time in long queues at the public bar.
Darren Stevens steered two fours over the slips and nurdled another though fine leg in his 13 before slicing a drive to third man.
Andrew Hall (5) nicked an expansive drive to the keeper and Rob Key (14) went down the track with ambition only to hole out to long off.
In-form Martin van Jaarsveld anchored the effort as best he could with the only fluent knock of Kent’s innings, but his fellow South African Justin Kemp again disappointed with a staccato 16-ball stay that reaped one four, several miscues and just 10 runs.
The rangy all-rounder finally toe-ended a slog to short third man then, later in Nayan Doshi’s over, acting captain Matt Walker clipped to long-on as the spinner, the pick of Surrey’s attack took two for seven in the over and three for 24 overall.
Niall O’Brien’s hapless attempts at improvisation led to two runs from seven balls faced before he slogged to ‘cow corner’, leaving the onus with van Jaarsveld.
Even though he took few risks and still played most balls on its merits van Jaarsveld was the sole class act, hitting four fours and the first six of the innings in the 16th over in his 44-ball 51.
He went edging a drive off Tim Murtagh and although Simon Cook added some late impetus with 20 off 12 balls, including the biggest six of the night, it was all too little, too late.
This all followed David Fulton’s decision to stand down ahead of the game and hand over the helm to Gravesend-born Walker.
Fulton, who was much maligned for standing down and appointing Andrew Symonds as last season’s Spitfires’ Twenty20 skipper, says he will play a full part in the pre-planning of each of Kent’s eight Southern Group qualifiers and has not ruled out playing.
Twenty20 Cup, 2005, South Division
Kent v Surrey
Kent County Cricket Ground, Beckenham
22 June 2005 (20-over match)
Result: Surrey won by 7 wickets
Points: Surrey 2, Kent 0
Umpires: SA Garratt and IJ Gould
Kent innings R M B 4 6
DI Stevens c Doshi b Akram 13 6 11 3 0
RWT Key c Clarke b Akram 14 29 17 2 0
AJ Hall c Batty b Clarke 5 4 4 1 0
M van Jaarsveld c Batty b Murtagh 51 46 44 4 1
JM Kemp c Harbhajan Singh b Doshi 10 16 16 1 0
*MJ Walker c Brown b Doshi 6 1 3 1 0
+NJ O'Brien c Clarke b Doshi 2 4 7 0 0
JC Tredwell not out 9 12 7 0 0
SJ Cook run out 20 9 12 1 1
Extras (lb 2, w 6, nb 2) 10
Total (8 wickets, 20 overs) 140
DNB: RS Ferley, A Khan.
FoW: 1-15 (Stevens), 2-23 (Hall), 3-59 (Key), 4-91 (Kemp),
5-98 (Walker), 6-108 (O'Brien), 7-111 (van Jaarsveld),
Bowling O M R W
Clarke 2 0 23 1 (4w)
Akram 4 1 22 2
Murtagh 4 0 31 1 (1nb)
Salisbury 2 0 16 0 (1w)
Harbhajan Singh 4 0 22 0 (1w)
Doshi 4 0 24 3
Surrey innings (target: 141 runs) R M B 4 6
JGE Benning c Cook b Ferley 66 41 37 10 2
*AD Brown c Cook b Kemp 36 27 25 6 0
DJ Thornely c O'Brien b Kemp 0 0 1 0 0
R Clarke not out 13 25 14 1 0
+JN Batty not out 19 12 20 2 0
Extras (lb 2, w 3, nb 2) 7
Total (3 wickets, 16 overs) 141
To Bat: AJ Hodd, IDK Salisbury, TJ Murtagh, Harbhajan Singh,
M Akram, ND Doshi.
FoW: 1-68 (Brown), 2-69 (Thornely), 3-112 (Benning).
Bowling O M R W
Hall 2 0 26 0 (2w)
Cook 3 0 22 0
Khan 1 0 16 0 (1nb)
Kemp 3 0 32 2
Ferley 4 0 22 1
Tredwell 3 0 21 0 (1w)