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Kent win first match in thrilling finish

7th May 2013

In bright sunshine at Kings Hill CC on Sunday 5th May Kent VICC claimed a narrow 1 wicket win over Metro Devils in their first ever match against blind cricket opposition.

Kent’s side included 7 new players, along with Andrew Norris who kept wicket for New College Worcester in the late 90s, Kelvin Duncan who’s been playing in the national league for Sussex over the past couple of seasons as well as England internationals Rob Comber & Dave Gavrilovic.

Metro Devils batted first & Kelvin struck early bowling opening batsman Alan Turnbull in the third over. England B1 Hassan Khan & 15-year-old Lois Turner put together a lengthy partnership to build up the innings, batting together for around 13 overs. Eventually Khan fell LBW to Ray St.Cyr for 28 before Theresa Robberts was run out early in her innings. Lois was finally bowled by Rob Comber for 33 & number 6 Adara Kabara was also out bowled, by Dave Gavrilovic. Jan Reynolds & Paul D’Wan saw out the innings accumulating runs well as Metro Devils finished their 25 overs on 137/5.

In response Kent lost an early wicket too with B1 Nick Winch out LBW to Hassan Khan. Ray St.Cyr set about pushing up his side’s run rate before becoming Khan’s second victim after a fast paced 24. Tom Barton’s quick dismissal brought Rob Mitchell in to join 12-year-old Luke Boulding. The pair took Kent’s score up to around 60 before the innings suffered a massive wobble. Rob fell for 11 before Kelvin Duncan was trapped LBW by Paul D’Wan twice in one over. Luke was run out for 10, his older brother Matt was also run out before Andrew Norris joined them all back in the pavilion.

Suddenly Kent were 75/8 with Ben Breen & Rob Comber at the crease, time wasn’t an issue as the side were up with the required run rate but wickets were running seriously short. Rob played a captains innings combining a succession of twos and fours with cleverly timed singles to keep strike. Ben played his part moving to 4 not out before being pinned LBW leaving him half out.

Shortly after that Rob was well caught by Hassan Khan from the bowling of Lois Turner for 32. Dave Gavrilovic joined Ben Breen at the crease with 15 still required for victory & the game nearly came to an immediate end as Gavrilovic was almost caught first ball, however he proceeded to smash a 3 next ball before Ben saw out the over. In the next over Dave took a leg bye first ball leaving Ben again to see out the over. Devils captain Dave Samuels then struck Gavrilovic in front of middle stump from the first ball of the next over to leave both B1 batsmen half out. Two byes & a single from Dave as well as Ben seeing out the last two balls left Kent on the brink of victory as including a couple of wides & taking Dave’s double runs in to account they were now 136/9.

Alan Turnbull came on to bowl the 24th over & nearly claimed victory as Metro had a big shout for LBW turned down. The next ball, a quick, full pitched delivery passed harmlessly by the off stump. The third ball of the over saw the decisive moment of the game, the ball was slightly short and around middle stump, Dave drove it through wide mid on & quick running saw 2 runs completed and Kent over the finishing line by 1 wicket with 9 balls to spare.

Dave finished 12 not out but it was his batting partner Ben Breen who played the crucial role concentrating & playing an intelligent defensive innings so that the more experienced batsmen at the other end, first Rob Comber, then Gavrilovic could play the attacking shots needed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

This was a successful first match for Kent but it also signalled a big change for Metro Devils as a much improved batting, bowling & catching performance indicated they are going to be serious challengers for the development league south & west title this season.

Joint Players of the Match: Ben Breen, Hassan Khan & Lois Turner