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Coles T20 career-best not enough to defeat Hampshire

Thursday 2nd June 2016

Men’s First Team

Kent Spitfires lost despite a T20 career best for Matt Coles at star-studded Hampshire.

The Maidstone paceman took 4/27 in four overs in a disciplined effort from the Spitfires’ attack with Ivan Thomas also collecting two wickets.

Chasing 159 to win, Daniel Bell-Drummond (64) and Joe Denly (31) gave the Spitfires’ reply the perfect platform before the hosts hit back with regular wickets.

Click here to see the Kent Spitfires’ double-header at Beckenham this weekend

Coles, David Griffiths, Fabian Cowdrey and James Tredwell all ended with economy rates of 7 or less against a line-up including England batsman James Vince, West Indies T20 world champion Darren Sammy and Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

Former Kent and England opener Michael Carberry struck 54 with handy batting cameos from the overseas duo, Sammy striking 27 off 15 and Afridi's 21 off 14 accelerating in the later overs after Kent had stifled the scoring.

Skipper James Vince, released by England to play, beautifully drove former teammate David Griffiths to the point ropes. But the fast bowler had the last laugh as Vince tamely cut to Blake at cover.

The end of the fielding restrictions slowed Hampshire up, as Adams was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Fabian Cowdrey off Coles – only 11 more runs coming before the half way point.

Adam Wheater,was caught at third man before the Pakistani upped the run rate to reignite hopes of setting a defendable score, putting on 40 with Carberry before being bowled by Cowdrey swinging wildly.

Carberry reached a solid fifty from 49 balls before departing after firing to Coles the long on boundary off Thomas.

Sammy and Liam Dawson accelerated Hampshire to 158 for eight – with both finding fielders in the final over.

Kent looked comfortable until Sammy and Afridi each struck twice in two balls in the 15thand 17thovers to leave the Spitfires’ tail too much to do.

Bell-Drummond scored his fourth successive half-century in four innings in all formats, scoring seven boundaries in a well-paced effort.

The 22-year-old reached 50 from 43 deliveries – which included a sumptuous straight drive off Tino Best.

Around him, Dawson bowled Denly for 31 before Sam Billings fell lbw to Gareth Berg and Darren Stevens entered the fray and slogged Dawson for a six and then a four.

Sammy got his first scalp of the campaign having the veteran Stevens leg before, before Alex Blake chipped a slower ball back to him next ball.

Bell-Drummond was finally stumped by a sharp piece of keeping by Wheater for 64 as Afridi came alive – the next ball Coles slogged straight into the hands of Dawson.

Gareth Andrew had Cowdrey pinned down lbw and Best knocked over James Tredwell’s middle stump.

Griffiths smashed a six at the start of the 20th over but Berg had the last laugh as he bowled the tailender.


Click here to see the return game v Hampshire at The Spitfire Ground on Wednesday at 6.30pm