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July 8, 2012
Kent 125 for 7 (Mahmood 30) beat Middlesex 124 for 9 (Dexter 42, Stevens 3-23) by three wickets
Kent beat Middlesex by three wickets with an over to spare in their final Friends Life t20 game at Uxbridge but it was a hollow victory because neither side had any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
The groundstaff did well to make conditions playable after the heavy recent rain but it had taken its toll and Middlesex struggled to reach 124 for 9 after Kent put them in on a sluggish pitch and sodden outfield where the ball often plugged on landing.
There were only 13 boundaries - three sixes and eight fours - in the entire Middlesex innings and none at all after the 15th over.
Kent did not do much better, hitting only seven fours, but, crucially, they cleared the boundary rope six times and a fifth-wicket stand of 50 in seven overs between Azhar Mahmood and Alex Blake proved decisive.
Blake hit two sixes, one of which struck a house across the road in Gatting Way, in his 22 off 23 balls and Mahmood had made 30 off 26 balls with two fours and a six when Steven Crook followed through to run him out in the penultimate over.
Middlesex's captain Neil Dexter held his side together with 42 off 38 balls with four fours but then he skied Darren Stevens, the best of the Kent bowlers with 3 for 23, to mid on and Middlesex fell away with Tom Scollay (19) the only other batsman to get into double-figures.
Kent did not find scoring easy either, with Sam Billings (10) and Rob Key (three) soon falling to mistimed shots but Sam Northeast gave them a platform with 21 off 23 balls before he holed out on the midwicket boundary. Stevens provided timely acceleration with three sixes in his 26 off 18 balls and Mahmood and Blake made victory a formality.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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