Surrey beat Kent by 31 runs at Canterbury, with their bowling performance proving too much for the Spitfires. Over 4,000 spectators enjoyed the match, in glorious sunshine at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.
Jade Dernbach and Azhar Mahmood led the way with the ball as Kent scored 145 for nine in reply to a Surrey total of 176 for three which was based around a 95 not out from Steven Davies.
At the halfway point Kent seemed on course at 87 for two, with Sam Northeast and Darren Stevens rattling along in a third-wicket stand that was to bring 55 runs in seven overs.
But when Stevens was lbw to Jon Lewis for 30, from just 17 balls with two sixes, the Spitfires saw seven wickets going down for 46 runs in eight overs.
Mahmood, playing against his former county, struck a vital blow midway through the collapse by bowling opener Northeast for 61 from 53 balls, an innings which contained two sixes and five fours.
He also had Sam Billings caught for one early on to finish with two for 22 from his four overs while Dernbach, who bowled James Tredwell and had Mitchell Claydon caught on the long-off boundary in the final over after having Rob Key caught at long-on for 17 in his first spell, ended up with three for 22.
Kent’s batsmen had no answer to their accuracy and variety and Zander de Bruyn also chipped in with a useful two for 24, having Alex Blake caught on the deep mid-wicket rope and Matt Coles bowled first ball aiming a swipe. Captain Gareth Batty snared Ben Harmison with his off-spin, caught at long-on.
Davies batted throughout the Surrey innings, swinging off-spinner Adam Riley for six as the 100 came up in the 13th over and also hitting 12 fours. He shared in stands of 66 with Jason Roy, who chipped Coles’ first ball back to the bowler to fall for 16 in the eighth over, 47 with Ricky Ponting and then 57 with Glenn Maxwell.
Ponting, given a generous welcome by a 4,000 crowd, made 19 from 17 balls before skying an attempted big hit against Coles, who did superbly to run back and get under a swirling ball to complete a diving catch.
The former Australia captain did hit one six out of the ground, high over the short boundary at long-leg from a slower ball by Coles which turned into an inviting waist-high full toss, but otherwise the Kent bowlers kept him quiet during his short innings.
Coles was the pick of the Kent attack, picking up two for 20 from a four-over spell in the middle of the innings and clearly happier not to have bowl in the powerplay overs or at the death, as the England Lions paceman has generally been asked to do previously in domestic one-day cricket.
Maxwell injected some much-needed urgency into the Surrey batting effort when he arrived at the crease in the 14th over. Warming up with a straight four off Tredwell and then a pull for six off the England one-day off spinner, the Australian all-rounder later hit Claydon wide of long-on for a massive six before mis-hitting to extra cover in the last over for an 18-ball 32.
Mahmood swung the only ball he faced, from Claydon, for six over long-on to give Surrey 95 runs from the second half of their innings, and in the end their 20-over score proved to be more than enough.
Kent Spitfires will be back in action this Friday under lights at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence when they face Essex Eagles – save with pre-purchase, print at home tickets – click here to book yours