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Kent Spitfires win on rain-affected evening at the County Ground

Kent Spitfires beat the Derbyshire Falcons by nine wickets after rain had curtailed play for close to four hours at the County Ground.

With the match reduced to 14 overs per side, the visitors chased down a Duckworth/Lewis target of 67 from 14 overs comfortably with 19 balls to spare.

Before the rain, the Spitfires had won the toss, electing to bowl first in overcast conditions.

The hosts had reached 22-0 in the sixth over before Chesney Hughes departed; caught by a diving Geraint Jones behind the stumps off Matt Coles for 11.

Hughes’ opening partner Usman Khawaja then followed an over later, the Australian international playing on to an Azhar Mahmood delivery for 11; the Falcons 26-2.

Wes Durston and Wayne Madsen then added 15 more runs before the former fell, caught at the wicket from the thinnest of edges off Darren Stevens; the third batsmen to fall for 11.

The Falcons were then in trouble when Wayne Madsen became Stevens’ second victim; bowled through the gate for nine.

At 46-4, the drizzle that had been falling for the majority of the 13 overs began falling heavier; the players consequently leaving the field.

A long wait then ensued with further rain falling, frustratingly, each time a potential restart was on the cards.

However play eventually resumed at 9:15pm, with the match reduced to 14 overs per side, meaning the Falcons would face just six balls upon resumption.

Despite losing Redfern to a run out first ball, Jon Clare 11* and Alex Hughes 4*, managed three boundaries, seeing the Falcons close on 62-5 and setting the visitors a total of 67 to win via the Duckworth Lewis method.

The visitors then pressed home their advantage, progressing their total to 39-0 in the sixth over before Mark Turner had former England Test batsman Rob Key caught at the wicket for 17.

However the wicket of the captain did little to check the Spitfires’ momentum as Sam Billings (28*) and Sam Northeast (22*) saw the visitors home with 19 balls to spare.

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