Daniel Bell-Drummond’s fifth one-day century was not enough as Andre Russell hit a sparkling century to see Jamaica home in the final over of a nailbiting FGS Plant Tour match in Antigua.
The 24-year-old England Lions opener’s mammoth stand with Adam Rouse guided Kent to 239-5 before the West Indies all-rounder smashed a scintillating unbeaten century for the Scorpions.
Russell’s second List A century came off 107 balls and was perfectly paced on a tricky pitch after Joe Denly struck twice in the powerplay to put the seven-time Caribbean one-day champions on the back foot.
Earlier, Bell-Drummond reached three figures with a six off the penultimate ball of the innings as he played the anchor role alongside Rouse, who hit four fours and three big sixes in a career-best 75 not out off 68 balls.
The pair shared a unbroken partnership of 135 in 123 balls as Bell-Drummond saw off the new ball as a succession of partners got starts on a tricky used pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Rouse reached his second List A 50 off 56 balls with back-to-back sixes off paceman Oshane Thomas – after his maiden 50 on the same ground on last year’s FGS Plant Tour.
Jamaica won the toss and opted to field with conditions most helpful for the bowlers closer to the 9am start and teams averaging 187 batting first at the venue.
After a slow start in tricky conditions, Kent posted the highest first-innings score at the ground in this year’s tournament of 239 for five.
In reply, Ivan Thomas gave the tourists the perfect start by dismissing former USA captain Steven Taylor for a fourth-ball duck before Joe Denly induced two nicks to slip.
The aggressive Chadwick Walton, fresh from a century against the Leewards on Monday, reached 22 before chopping to Adam Riley as the Scorpions faced a tricky mini-session before the lunch interval.
After the break, Denly claimed his 11th wicket of the tour as he got some grip to remove opener Trevon Griffith to reduce Jamaica to 39-3 in the ninth over.
Denly trapped Fabian Allen LBW to make it 45-4 in his next over bfore Calum Haggett found Andre McCarthy’s outside edge and the grateful gloves of Rouse.
Russell strode to the crease with the score on 57-5 before patiently rebuilding with Andre McCarthy (43), adding 76 runs in 20.3 overs to set up a grandstand finish.
Birthday boy Will Gidman conceded just 18 runs in 10 overs in the middle overs before the 29-year-old World T20 winner shepherded the tail to victory, striking six fours and eight sixes.
The Spitfires face USA at the same ground on Friday (1pm GMT) before the final group game against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Sunday (6pm GMT, live on BT Sport 3).