McCullum signs off in style in Middlesex victory


Brendon McCullum of Middlesex

Middlesex 210-6 (20 ov): McCullum 87*, Malan 60; Stevens 4-31
Kent 170-7 (20 ov): Cowdrey 71; Roland-Jones 3-24, Fuller 2-38
Kent (0 pts) lost to Middlesex (2 pts) by 40 runs

Brendon McCullum signed off from Middlesex duty by putting Kent to the sword with an unbeaten 87 in a one-sided T20 Blast clash at Canterbury.

The New Zealander, who has already intimated he wants to return to the club in 2017, hit four fours and five sixes during a 57-ball stay that eased his side to a formidable 216-6.

He featured in a century opening stand with the in-form Dawid Malan (60) to set the Spitfires an exacting asking rate of 10.55 an over for victory ­ – a pursuit that proved well beyond Kent’s reach.

The pair had helped take their side to 112-1 by the innings mid-point, with Darren Stevens picking up Malan.

He also accounted for Paul Stirling (12), James Fuller (1) and John Simpson (2) as Middlesex slipped to 142-5 in the 15th over.

But McCullum continued on his merry way and Kent’s woes were compounded late on when umpires Nick Cook and Russell Evans awarded six penalty runs for their slow over-rate.

Kent’s chase started disastrously when openers Tom Latham and Joe Denly fell within the first 14 balls, both accounted for by Toby Roland-Jones.

Under the lights and in front of the biggest Canterbury crowd of the summer, Kent captain Sam Northeast mowed a quick 41 before miscuing to short third man.

The required run-rate had risen above 13 at the mid-point of the Spitfires reply and with spin from both ends and pace off the ball, Kent started to struggle for boundaries.

Fabian Cowdrey did hit a 32-ball 50, and eventually a career-best 71, but when he went, so did Kent’s outside hopes of victory.

Middlesex are in second place in the South table at the halfway point of the competition.