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Blake and Northeast fightback inspires Spitfires to beat Hampshire

Friday 22nd May 2015

Batsmen Sam Northeast and Alex Blake produced a stunning chase as Kent edged past Hampshire with a five-wicket win at the Ageas Bowl.

Captain Northeast rotated the strike as Blake began a bat-whirling aerial bombardment – both scoring fifties in an 108-run stand off 56 balls.

The pair saved the Spitfires, who had slipped to 70 for five before seeing off the Hampshire bowling with balls to spare.

Hampshire skipper James Vince won the toss and his opening partner Michael Carberry got the home side off to a flying start.

David Griffiths left the Ageas Bowl-based side two summers ago and was welcomed back by a boundary-happy Carberry but the Isle of Wight born seamer struck back straight away when the former Kent man was caught on the boundary, departing for a eight-ball 20.

After striking 60 from the six-over powerplay – Kent managed to peg back the runaway home side, Hampshire failing to score a boundary for 30 deliveries.

Jimmy Adams fell for a tentative single as Hampshire toiled in the middle overs – as Fabian Cowdrey in particular bowled like a plug, only going for 18 from his three overs.

Vince kicked the innings back on track as he collected a 39-ball half century – crashing two fours sandwiched between a duo of huge maximums over cow corner.

Vince, Sean Ervine and a stuttering Owais Shah all departed in quick succession – with Joe Denly picking up three boundary-riding catches.

Adam Wheater produced his highest career T20 score, of 37 – as Hampshire scored just one run less than in their opening fixture, 173.

Daniel Bell-Drummond started Kent’s reply with a whimper as spinner Will Smith swooped low to catch him off his own bowling – the fourth ball of the innings.

Denly began an onslaught in the next over with ex-West Indian Test star Fidel Edwards on the receiving end of a quartet of devastating fours.

Danny Briggs was brought into the attack to stem the flow of Kent runs and found Denly loosely driving first ball to pick up his 99th domestic T20 wicket.

Like Hampshire’s innings, Kent began to turn boundaries into ones and twos as a bright start faded away in the middle overs.

Wheater produced two stunning pieces of wicketkeeping to run out the dangerous Sam Billings, for 15, before smartly stumping Stevens off Smith.

And Smith again pounced two balls later to snare Cowdrey leg before to leave the visitors 74 for five after losing three wickets for five runs in seven balls.

Captain Northeast quietly revived Kent’s fortunes with a 41-ball fifty, letting Alex Blake crunch the big runs at the other end as Kent started to bat themselves into the game.

Carberry dropped Blake with a flying attempt on the boundary as the nervous started to jangle. Blake moving past his 24 ball fifty with two fours and four maximums.

But Northeast and Blake – who ended with unbeaten 60 and 71 respectively – steered the visitors to an unlikely win – Blake striking the winning runs with his sixth six with four balls to spare.

Click here for the scorecard