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June 1, 2012
Kent 96 for 0 (Billings 58*) beat Warwickshire 94 for 7 (Davies 3-10) by 10 wickets (D/L method)
Warwickshire suffered their first defeat in the Clydesdale Bank 40 this season as Kent's bowlers and the weather combined to condemn them to a thumping 10-wicket reverse at Canterbury.
Rain interrupted the Warwickshire innings at 94 for 7 and, after a restart at 8.41pm, Kent - set 96 to win in 26 overs - cantered to victory under the St Lawrence Ground floodlights. The hosts needed just 16.3 overs, with young opener Sam Billings hitting a stylish maiden one-day half-century.
Billings, 21 in two weeks' time, drove and pulled the ball with promise to finish unbeaten on 58, from 54 balls, stroking Keith Barker through extra-cover for his ninth four just before hitting the winning run. At the other end, Kent captain Rob Key remained 24 not out.
It was an disappointing way for Warwickshire to lose their 100% record, after three wins in as many games, but the Group C leaders were already in deep trouble when the rain came to drive the players off at 6.23pm.
Kent seamer Mark Davies undermined the innings after Warwickshire had chosen to bat with a brilliant new ball spell of 8-3-10-3, and then James Tredwell and Darren Stevens made further inroads as Rikki Clarke, Darren Maddy and Chris Woakes tried to stage a recovery from the depths of 9 for 4. Clarke, with 39 from 56 balls, batted impressively and was joined in stands of 43 and 40 by Maddy and Woakes, who was 25 not out when the rain arrived.
Maddy reached 18 before being bowled by Tredwell's third ball, in the 14th over, as he shaped to cut and was beaten by a ball which turned a long way back into him. When Clarke was bowled by a superb off-cutter from Stevens, which also seemed to stay a little low, and was followed back to the pavilion by Keith Barker - lbw for a third-ball duck in the next over from Tredwell - the Warwickshire innings was deep in trouble.
The explosive start to the game had earlier seen Varun Chopra depart in the second over, caught at the wicket by Geraint Jones trying to square cut a ball from Matt Coles. Then the accurate Davies struck in his second, third and fourth overs down the Nackington Road slope. Will Porterfield edged behind, fellow left-hander Jim Troughton was taken at second slip from another beauty that again moved away off the seam, and Tim Ambrose spliced an attempted pull straight up in the air.
After the initial eight-over powerplay, Warwickshire were on 16 for 4 but Maddy lofted Azhar Mahmood straight for four, and then pulled him for another boundary and Clarke managed to hit Davies for the only boundary he conceded with a rasping pull which brought up Warwickshire's 50.
Woakes also played some fine strokes but Kent's bowlers had tightened their grip again before the weather intervened as the hosts put their shock defeat to the Unicorns behind them.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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