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May 1, 2011
Worcestershire 233 for 4 beatKent 232 for 8 by six wickets
Alexei Kervezee and Vikram Solanki both hit excellent half-centuries as Worcestershire beat Kent by six wickets in an entertaining Clydesdale Bank 40 game at Canterbury.
Solanki smashed a classy 59 from just 49 balls, striking 10 fours, and Kervezee 69 from 84 balls as Worcestershire reached their victory target with three balls to spare.
They were at the heart of a superbly-paced chase after Kent, who won the toss, posted 232 for 8 from their 40 overs - a total which was less than they would have hoped for when Martin van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens were blazing away in a third-wicket stand of 70 in just 12 overs.
But Van Jaarsveld was caught at deep mid-wicket for a run-a-ball 81 soon after Stevens had fallen in similar fashion for a quickfire 41 which included six fours and an effortless six launched over long on against off-spinner Shaaiq Choudhry. Van Jaarsveld hit nine fours in his innings.
After that, however, no Kent batsman could increase the scoring rate significantly as Worcestershire's bowling attack did well to restrict the lower middle order. Seamers Jack Shantry, Gareth Andrew and Damien Wright all impressed as they shared six wickets.
From 87 for 1, with Rob Key hitting 29 in a partnership worth 79 in 12 overs with Van Jaarsveld, Kent would have been aiming for a total above 250 - especially after Stevens arrived to maintain the early momentum.
In reply, Worcestershire were given a perfect start by Solanki and Moeen Ali, who added 79 inside 11 overs before Moeen was trapped leg before wicket by James Tredwell for 31 off 34 balls, with six fours.
And Kent's predominantly youthful and inexperienced attack could not contain their opponents, even after Solanki hit 19-year-old off spinner Adam Riley straight to Tredwell at short extra cover in the 17th over.
Neil Pinner, a 20-year-old batsman, played a sensible supporting role as he and Kervezee put the game almost beyond doubt with a third-wicket stand of 78 in 15 overs. Pinner hit only one four in his 37 from 44 balls, but kept rotating the strike perfectly.
When Pinner was stumped by Geraint Jones, to give Riley a second wicket in a promising debut performance of two for 37 from eight overs, James Cameron arrived to help Kervezee add a further 46 in seven overs.
On the verge of victory, Dutch star Kervezee holed out to mid-off when attempting a big hit against Azhar Mahmood, but he had by then played the match-winning innings.
Riley and Ashley Shaw were making their competition debuts for Kent while 18-year-old all-rounder Adam Ball had only one previous appearance, at the end of last season.
They were included as Kent are currently suffering from an injury list which includes Robbie Joseph (leg), Dewald Nel (back), Simon Cook (finger), Matt Coles (knee) and Joe Denly (broken thumb).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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