Spitfires stay in contention
Key leads from the front in Hove triumph
Last Updated: 27/06/10 9:38pm
Key: batted through Kent innings for 98
Kent Spitfires could still qualify for the quarter-finals of the FP t20 after a 27-run victory over South Group leaders Sussex Sharks.
Spitfires skipper Rob Key smashed 98 not out in a total of 194-1 after opting to bat first at Hove.
The former England right-hander, who hit 14 fours and a six during his 55-ball contribution, put on 90 inside 11 overs with opening partner Joe Denly.
Denly was run out for 38, the solitary wicket to fall in the Kent innings, but Key and Martin van Jaarsveld (53no) then scored at better than 10-an-over for the remainder of the innings to compile an unbroken second-wicket alliance of 104.
Sussex finished up on 167-9 in reply despite an enterprising 44 from 26 deliveries from batsman-wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Prior, recently discarded by England in limited-overs cricket, slammed three fours and three sixes to get the run chase off to a flyer.
But wickets fell regularly at the other end and, when Prior was caught off Simon Cook in the 11th over, the Sharks had slumped to 86-4.
And there was no way back as Kent's trio of seamers Matt Coles (3-30), Cook (2-46) and Azhar Mahmood (2-23) shared the wickets around.
Sussex, with eight wins and three losses from their 11 matches, remain four points clear top of the standings, while Kent remain second bottom but are now only four points outside of the qualification spots.