Nash half-century steers Kent home
Kent 233 for 5 (Nash 70*) beat Northamptonshire 232 for 9 (Wakely 74) by five wickets
A stunning half-century by Brandan Nash helped Kent to a thrilling five-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road to keep their semi-final hopes in the Clydesdale Bank 40 alive.
Northants posted 232 for 9 from their 40 overs as captain Alex Wakely made 74 from 76 balls and youngster Christian Davis blasted 54 off 50 with Matt Coles taking three for 45. Despite Con de Lange's 3 for 35 Kent reached their target with eight balls to spare as former West Indies international Nash hammered an unbeaten 70 off just 52 deliveries.
Northants won the toss and chose to bat and Kyle Coetzer was unfortunate to be run out for 11 in the sixth over when bowler Simon Cook tipped Rob Newton's straight drive on to the stumps. Newton himself clobbered 45 off 41 balls before he was sharply taken at short midwicket by Coles off the bowling of James Tredwell.
David Sales (15) was then trapped lbw by Darren Stevens and two balls later, wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien edged the same bowler to Tredwell at slip. Wakely, however, hung around to complete his half-century off 52 balls and Davis later raced past 50 off 47 deliveries as part of a fifth-wicket stand of 89.
Wakely departed by smashing Coles to Sam Billings at long on and Davis soon followed when he launched Cook to Coles at long off. Rob Keogh (1) was comfortably caught at square leg by Stevens off Coles before de Lange (18) swept Cook to Alex Blake at fine leg. Jack Brooks (5) then departed when he was well-taken at mid-on by Tredwell off the bowling of Coles in the final over.
Chasing 233, Kent got off to a bad start when they lost Billings for 12 in the fourth over when Olly Stone's delivery clipped his off stump. Kent captain Rob Key then went cheaply on 27 by smashing de Lange straight to Coetzer at long off before Stevens (8) dragged David Burton onto his stumps.
Sam Northeast then fell on 44 by playing de Lange's delivery on to his leg stump before he claimed his third wicket by bowling Blake for 8. But Nash helped them towards their target by smashing 50 off 41 balls and former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones completed a half-century of his own two balls quicker.
Jones finished on 52 not out and Nash unbeaten on 70 as the pair put on 107, scoring the winning run in the penultimate over of the match.