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Key disappointed with Spitfires performance

A dejected Rob Key admitted his side were just not at the races as they lost their Twenty20 semi-final against the Somerset Sabres by seven wickets.

The Spitfires struggled to 145 for 5 after Darren Stevens rescued the innings with 77 from 51 balls after Kent had slipped to 31 for 3.

Former England opener Marcus Trescothick then came out and took the game away from the Spitfires after smashing 56 from just 32 balls which included taking 16 off the first over from Amjad Khan.

The Sabres scored 71 for 0 from the first six overs compared to Kent’s 32 for 3 and that, according to Key, was the big difference between the two sides.

“You have got to start well and be right on the money and we weren’t,” he said. “We conceded 16 off the first over and we probably bowled a bit too wide and bit too full. It was the story of the first six really, we didn’t bat well enough in the first six but I think with 145 if we had a decent bowling show it might have been different. When you have got someone scoring 50-odd off 30-odd balls you are always struggling.

“It is not an easy wicket to bat on. They bowled full and straight and did it, while we bowled full and wide and from that stage we were always clawing it back.”

The Kent skipper admitted Trescothick was difficult to bowl to and showed why he is rated as one of the best batsmen in the game.

“He is one of the best players in the world, especially in one-day cricket and has probably been England’s finest batsman in one-day cricket for some time,” he said. “He is a fantastic player and is so hard to bowl at for international bowlers and unfortunately he was good today and we weren’t.”

The loss of key all-rounder Ryan Mclaren upset the balance of the side and having taken a hat-trick at finals day in 2007, Key felt the loss of the South African was a major blow.

He said: “On big occasions he is one that steps up, more so than anyone else I think. Two years ago in finals day he was the one for us. I think we did miss him, I think he would have been a good bowler on that deck I think.”

“I have not had a moment to catch my breath really,” he said. “We came into this on the back of three back-to-back championship games and after playing so badly against Middlesex we had to make sure we got a win in the championship, so I was keeping an eye on the press but tomorrow will be the first day I have had off in quite a while so I will sit back and look back at a hectic week.”

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