Twenty20 Cup - South Division
Kent 204-5 Innings Complete (J L Denly 91) v Essex 123
Kent beat Essex by 81 runs
Kent Spitfires breezed to a comfortable 81-run victory over Essex at Beckenham as they continued to ride high in the South Division of the Twenty20 Cup.
A brilliant 91 off 57 balls from Joe Denly was instrumental in the hosts racking up an excellent total of 204-5 from their 20 overs, while Azhar Mahmood added an unbeaten 36 off just 11 balls, featuring four fours and two sixes.
In reply Essex were skittled out for 123 as Ryan ten Doeschate top-scored with 22. James Tredwell (3-17) and Simon Cook (3-21) were the main wicket-takers for Kent.
Robert Key struck a breezy 25 off 15 balls but Jamaica-born bowler Maurice Chambers dismissed him with Mark Pettini taking the catch.
Denly continued to blast the Essex attack to all parts and his fine knock featured 15 fours and five sixes before he was finally out nine shy of a century when he was caught by Alastair Cook off the bowling of Danish Kaneria.
But Mahmood and Darren Stevens (11 not out) saw the Spitfires total past 200 and left the Eagles with a mountain to climb.
The visitors had reached 36 before the first wicket fell, but when Pettini (21), Cook (15) and Jason Gallian (1) all departed in quick succession, Essex found themselves in huge trouble at 42-4.
Essex never recovered from their early set-backs and their feeble chase was complete when David Masters was the last man out, caught by Ryan McLaren off the bowling of Mahmood.