Stirling and Franklin star as Middlesex thrash Kent at Lord’s
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
Paul Stirling hit a swashbuckling 90 and James Franklin took five wickets as Middlesex crushed Kent by 115 runs for their first Twenty20 win of the season.
Stirling’s knock of 90 from just 50 balls underpinned Middlesex’s total of 205-5 at Lord’s – the first time they had passed 200 in T20 cricket for almost three years.
And Kent were never in the contest, crumbling for just 90 in reply as Franklin finished with figures of 5-21 to get Middlesex’s campaign up and running.
Dawid Malan, making his return from injury, was the first to depart for 11 after swishing behind at Matt Stevens, while Nick Compton (5) was caught at mid-on.
But Stirling began to find his rhythm, smashing an array of boundaries as he and skipper Eoin Morgan put together a rapid partnership of 104 for the third wicket.
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Stirling seemed set for a ton, but he swung Stevens to deep mid-wicket and Middlesex lost momentum after Morgan had skied to long-on for 54, eventually posting 205-5 from their 20 overs.
Former Middlesex batsman Joe Denly, playing at Lord’s for the first time since he rejoined Kent, did not last long when the visitors began their reply, hitting six before he was yorked by Steven Finn.
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Franklin removed Sam Northeast (20) and Matt Coles (11) with successive deliveries – and then repeated the trick as Alex Blake (5) and Sam Billings (11) feel to catches in the deep by Malan and Kyle Abbott.
The Middlesex all-rounder completed his five-for with the wicket of Stevens (3) and debutant Nathan Sowter weighed in with 2-2 from just four balls as Kent folded for 90 in the 15th over