Potter spins in vain for Staffordshire

Cricket: NatWest Trophy
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The Independent Online
MICHAEL AUSTIN

reports from Stone

Kent 349-8 Staffordshire 258-6 Kent win by 91 runs

These NatWest Trophy contests in such pastoral and sun-lit settings revolve around the butcher, baker and candlestick maker confronting the hardened pros. Among them, Neil Taylor made a competition-best of 86 and Graham Cowdrey, another, of 65 on his 31st birthday.

This one still revolved around the Potter's Wheel. Laurie Potter, formerly of Kent and Leicestershire, turned full circle with an innings of 105 not out and the man of the match award against his first county.

Kent ultimately used nine bowlers but this scarcely devalued his performance. Potter also took the Gold Award when playing for the Minor Counties against Leicestershire, his second club, in the Benson and Hedges Cup earlier this season. His latest riposte was a triumph for tenacity as the Minor Counties champions in three successive years from 1991 onwards provided realistic opposition in a game spanning the full 120 overs.

The relative 10-over scores were Kent 20 for 0, Staffordshire 60 for 1, yet sustaining that impetus was beyond the part-timers. Mark Humphries and Potter shared a second half-century partnership following a more ebullient one between Steve Dean and David Cartledge in a valiant but lost cause. Dean and Cartledge, the long-established and best opening pair in Minor Counties cricket, had plundered 57 from nine overs.

They mauled Martin McCague and Alan Igglesden, the former England quick bowlers, adding their influence to a memorable Staffordshire week following Dominic Cork's remarkable debut for England. Born in Newcastle- under-Lyme, Cork played for his native county in 1989 and 1990.

Kent struck 14 sixes and their briefest, brightest strokeplay brought symmetrical innings. De Silva, McCague and Fleming each faced 11 balls with scores of 24, 31 not out and 35. Fleming hit five fours and two sixes before being caught at the wicket off a reverse sweep.

Peter Ridgway dismissed him in a bowling return of 4 for 62. Ridgway, a 22-year-old BSc graduate, had begun by taking David Fulton's wicket with his fourth ball and Mark Ealham's with the first delivery of his second spell. It was quite a day for the Potter's Union.

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