Elliot Hooper's dream debut sees Kent rout Middlesex for 80

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Finch, Kuhn set Kent up before Hooper’s three wickets keep Middlesex to their lowest Blast total

Kent 157 for 8 (Finch 47, Kuhn 42, Cullen 4-33) beat Middlesex 80 (Hooper 3-23) by 77 runs

Elliot Hooper enjoyed a dream debut as Kent routed Middlesex for their lowest ever Vitality Blast score of 80 at Lord’s.

The 25-year-old left-armer, one of seven debutants for the visitors because of a Covid-19 outbreak, took 3 for 24 in the 77-run victory – the hosts failing to reach their previous worst tally of 92 made against Surrey at Lord’s eight years ago.

Fellow new boys Matthew Quinn, Safyaan Sharif and Marcus O’Riordan were also among the wickets, all this after Harry Finch top scored with 47 and Heino Kuhn made 42 in Kent’s total of 157 for 8, Blake Cullen taking 4 for 33.

Another of the Kent new boys George Munsey swept the second ball of the match from Mujeeb Ur Rahman for six but departed later in the first over.

Kuhn was then dropped at point by Joe Cracknell from Tom Helm’s first ball and he and skipper Zak Crawley set about the host’s attack.

Crawley hit three sixes as 50 came up in the sixth over, but attempting a fourth he was brilliantly caught by Max Holden at deep square – the first of Cullen’s four victims.

Kuhn and Finch continued the onslaught, helped by a succession of misfields, adding 65 in 43 balls, meaning the visitors were sitting pretty at 118 for 2 early in the 13th over.

However, Kuhn holing out in the deep off the excellent Nathan Sowter sparked a turning point as runs dried up and wickets tumbled.

Finch tried to hold things together making hitting six fours, in his 35-ball stay but just 40 runs came from the last eight overs

Chasing 158 for a rare win, the hosts simply fell to pieces. Sam Robson was yorked by Quinn and when the dangerous Joe Cracknell pulled Harry Podmore straight into the hands of deep square they were 16 for 2. It 20 for 3 when New Zealand international Daryl Mitchell was trapped lbw by Sharif, who returned 2 for 10.

Hooper trapped Middlesex debutant Varun Chopra in front before Podmore returned to have John Simpson caught at short mid-on.

Holden was caught on the fence to give O’Riordan his first Blast wicket and the procession continued as Hooper scattered Sowter’s stumps.

Helm, Hooper’s other victim, and Mujeeb were the only Middlesex players other than Chopra to reach double figures as the hosts were bowled out with 21 balls to spare.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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