Coetzer leads Northants to vital win

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Kyle Coetzer's superb half-century allowed Northants Steelbacks to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the Yorkshire Bank 40 with a tense five-wicket win over Kent Spitfires.

Steven Crook took 3-36 as the Spitfires were restricted to 188-7 from their 40 overs, as former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones top-scored with 46 not out from 52 balls.

Coetzer then struck 90 off 115 deliveries as the Steelbacks chased down their target with two balls to spare. Australian all-rounder Cameron White also contributed 65 from 82.

The result moves Northants above their opponents up to second in Group A with two games remaining for both sides.

Kent won the toss and chose to bat but lost Rob Key to a three-ball duck in the second over when he smashed Crook to Matthew Spriegel at deep square leg.

West Indies international Brendan Nash plundered 34 before he missed an attempted pull off James Middlebrook and was stumped by Northants wicketkeeper David Murphy.

Darren Stevens then departed bizarrely as he edged Lee Daggett's delivery on to Murphy's right leg and the ball flew to White at point.

Fabian Cowdrey was the next man back to the pavilion for the Spitfires when he was bowled by Crook for 13.

Crook struck again when took Sam Northeast's off stump for 44 before Adam Ball launched Spriegel to David Willey at midwicket.

Kent captain James Tredwell then departed as Muhammad Azhar Ullah's slower ball clattered into his timbers before Jones survived the final five overs with Matt Coles.

Chasing 189, Northants lost Willey in the fourth over when he hammered Coles to Adam Riley at deep square-leg before David Sales was trapped lbw by Mitchell Claydon for seven.

The Steelbacks were reduced to 32 for two at that stage but Coetzer did his best to stabilise his side's innings by completing a half-century off 72 balls.

This came as part of a brilliant third-wicket stand of 142 alongside White that led the hosts towards victory with the latter also reaching 50 off 66 deliveries.

White eventually departed by slashing Coles to Key at backward point, with Coetzer soon following when he was taken by Jones off the bowling of Stevens.

Claydon then took out Crook's middle stump as the hosts wobbled late on but three leg byes in the same bowler's final over sealed a vital win.

Coetzer leads Northants to vital win www.northantscricket.com
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