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June 18, 2008
Having stumbled to 147 for 5 Essex held their nerve to clinch a one-run win over Kent under floodlights at Chelmsford. Left to defend 14 off the final over, Danish Kaneria slipped in two crucial dot balls amid some an edged four and a last-ball six to hand Kent their second defeat in three games. Kent's chase started off poorly, losing their captain Robert Key to Graham Napier first ball, but Joe Denly (24) and Martin van Jaarsveld (32) added 48 in seven overs, van Jaarsveld hitting four fours off one Maurice Chambers over. Kaneria bowled van Jaarsveld during a miserly two-over burst and Ryan ten Doeschate sent Justin Kemp back the same way even though Kent were above the asking rate after ten overs, and when Denly and Darren Stevens fell in succession Essex were in with a sniff. Azhar Mahmood and Geraint Jones got the 100 up in the 15th over and Kent needed 42 off five, but Grant Flower's 3 for 21 helped snub their chase. Yasir Arafat - who had been taken out of the attack after bowling two beamers in the 19th over of Essex's innings - defiantly struck the final ball of the match for six but Kent ended on 146 for 8. Earlier in the evening Arafat had removed Varun Chopra with his second ball before Mahmood's dismissal of Napier made it 9 for 2. Then Flower (18) and Jason Gallian (44) put on 48 and James Foster (41 off 35) rallied with James Middlebrook (17), adding an unbroken 56 in six overs to get the hosts to a decent total. It would prove enough, but just.
Nottinghamshire's game against Durham was washed out without a ball being bowled at Chester-le-Street.Durham have lost only once, as have Nottinghamshire, who have a game in hand. It is the second successive year that Durham's home match against Nottinghamshire has been washed out.
Another wash out, between Glamorgan and Gloucestershire at Cardiff left a dampener on spirits.
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