Crusaders snap losing streak
Half centuries from Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan ensured Middlesex Crusaders got back to winning ways by beating Kent Spitfires by six runs in the Twenty20 Cup at Uxbridge.
Morgan scored 62 from 43 balls and Malan scored an undefeated 52 from 34 balls in a total of 171 for seven before Tyron Henderson (four for 29) and Shaun Udal shared seven wickets to dent the Spitfires' hopes of remaining at the top of the table.
Joe Denly was the first wicket to fall superbly stumped by Ben Scott for 14 with the score on 46 and then Martin Van Jaarsveld went the same way for 12 giving Udal the first of three wickets (three for 19)
Robert Key scored 49 from 38 balls before he holed out to long on and then two wickets fell in successive balls as first Yasir Arafat was caught in the deep for 19 and then Justin Kemp was bowled by Murali Kartik for eight.
Henderson picked up the wicket of Azhar Mahmood for 19 and then in the final over with Kent needing 14 runs to win, Henderson snapped up two more wickets, Ryan McLaren for five and Geraint Jones for two as the former Kent bowler ended with three wickets in six balls.
Earlier, after Andrew Strauss square cut Azhar with the final ball of the first over he saw partner Billy Godleman fall with the first ball of the second over when he loosely drove at Arafat and edged to slip for just a single.
Strauss was joined at the crease by Ed Joyce who got off the mark with a delightful square drive, but in Azhar's next over, Strauss went for nine, chopping onto his stumps to a ball that was too close to cut.
With the score on 43, Joyce became the third wicket to fall, giving Simon Cook his only wicket when the Crusaders captain square drove to McLaren at backward point for 11.
Morgan and Malan then shared a superb stand of 94 in 11 overs before Morgan fell in the 16th over. Having been caught of a top edge no-ball with the previous delivery, Morgan then attempted a repeat shot but this time skied a catch to Cook.
Then Henderson scored a quick-fire 22 from just 12 balls before being clean bowled as he looked to force through the leg-side. Two balls later Udal chipped to mid-wicket for a duck with Azhar finishing with figures of three for 27.