T20 Blast: Joe Denly century fires holders Kent to win over Middlesex

Joe Denly
Joe Denly’s fifth career T20 century helped Kent to their highest score of the Blast campaign

Joe Denly struck 110 as T20 Blast holders Kent beat Middlesex by 55 runs to claim their first win of the season.

Denly’s 57-ball knock helped the Spitfires post 192-8 at Canterbury, before Middlesex limped to 137-8.

In North Group, Birmingham pipped Notts Outlaws by one run to stay second after a rain-affected thriller at Edgbaston.

Elsewhere, Northamptonshire edged out Durham, Leicestershire beat Worcestershire, and Surrey’s match away to Glamorgan was abandoned.

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South Group

After a slow start to the season, Denly found his form for Kent, bringing up his fifty off 30 balls before accelerating to complete his fifth-career T20 ton just 20 balls later.

He shared a second-wicket stand of 157 with Jordan Cox (45) before finally falling for 110, an innings of nine fours and six maximums as the hosts set 192-8.

Steve Eskinazi (30) gave Middlesex a fast start until Qais Ahmad (1-19) and fellow spinner George Linde (2-26) applied the brakes, reducing the visitors from 53-1 to 61-4.

Jack Leaning weighed in with three wickets as Kent stopped a run of five straight defeats, while third-placed Middlesex suffered back-to-back losses after winning their opening three matches.

At Sophia Gardens, Glamorgan’s Australia paceman Michael Neser bowled England batsman Jason Roy for a 14-ball 21 and fellow Surrey opener Will Jacks (17) in the space of three balls.

Marnus Labuschagne repeated the trick, having Sam Curran stumped for 31 and two balls later trapping Sunil Narine as Surrey slipped to 102-6, but Jamie Overton clubbed four sixes in a brutal 21-ball 48 to push the South Group leaders to 160-9.

But Glamorgan’s reply lasted just nine balls before rain ended the match as both sides took a point.

North Group

Chris Benjamin thrashed two sixes and four fours in a 17-ball 36 and Carlos Brathwaite made 17 as the Birmingham Bears posted 98-5 after rain had reduced the match to an eight-over bash.

Alex Hales took Danny Briggs for three successive sixes and Ben Duckett smacked back-to-back maximums off Craig Miles as Nottinghamshire raced to 55-1 off three overs in reply.

But spinner Jake Lintott (2-6) had Duckett (22) caught on the boundary and two balls later ended Hales’ stunning nine-ball 30 to turn the match.

As boundaries dried up, Notts needed 15 off the final over to win and then three off the last ball, but Tom Moores could only take a single as Miles held his nerve to secure a one-run win.

Spin held the key for Northamptonshire at Chester-le-Street as Graeme White took 3-14 and Josh Cobb finished with 2-24, including the wicket of Durham top-scorer Graham Clark (44).

The hosts looked set for a below-par total, but late-order runs from Ned Eckersley (19 not out) and Liam Trevaskis (19 off nine) pulled Durham up to a defendable 154-8.

In-form Steelbacks opener Chris Lynn made light of the chase with a well-paced knock, reaching a third successive fifty off 42 balls before he was bowled by Scott Borthwick for 61.

Andrew Tye (3-28) prompted a wobble, but Tom Taylor stroked the winning runs with three balls to spare as third-placed Steelbacks claimed their third win of the season by four wickets.

At New Road, Leicestershire produced a solid batting performance as Rishi Patel top-scored with 37 off 25 balls, supported by Arron Lilley (32) and Hamish Rutherford (29) as the visitors posted 162-6.

Rehan Ahmed trapped Moeen Ali for 17 in the Worcestershire reply, but a tight finish looked on the cards with the Rapids needing 41 runs from five overs with five wickets in hand.

But Naveen-ul-Haq (5-11) took three wickets in 11 balls to reduce the hosts from 122-5 to 136 all out and propel Leicestershire up to fourth with their third win of the campaign.

Monday’s fixture

Headingley: Yorkshire Vikings v Notts Outlaws (18:30 BST)

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