Hildreth inspires Sabres to victory in Beckenham

Saturday 19th June 2010

Geraint Jones top-scored for Spitfies with 25 from 26 balls

Kent Spitfires v Somerset Sabres, Friends Provident t20 South Group, Beckenham.
By Mark Pennell
Kent suffered their fifth defeat of the Friends Provident t20 campaign in Beckenham on Sunday where Somerset Sabres made the most of a good pitch to secure an emphatic 84-run win with nine balls in hand.
The West Country County, second in the South Group approaching the mid-point of this season“s qualifying games, posted an impressive 20-over total of 189 for four scored at a scorching rate of 9.45 an over.
Though Simon Cook bowled a maiden and took one for 28, there seemed little the Kent attack could do to contain James Hildreth; with a completion best 77 not out for 55 balls and England Under-19 starlet Jos Butler, who hit an unbeaten 48 from just 22 deliveries.
Hildreth drove fiercely to collect 13 fours, while Butler cracked seven boundaries and a six over the ropes at square-leg off the final ball of the innings from Malinga Bandara to bring a stylish end to an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 80 off 44 balls.
Kent announced their attacking intentions with a six into the crowd from Rob Key, but the run chase was ultimately de-railed by the loss of early wickets as Spitfires crashed to 39 for three by the end of their powerplay overs.
Martin van Jaarsveld, who again opened in the absence of the injured Joe Denly, reached six before driving uppishly to mid-off then Key (9) fell to former Kent seamer and local lad, Ben Phillips, to a skied catch to mid-on.
Alex Blake (12) pulled a six to long leg but Phillips responded by having the all-rounder superbly caught in his left glove by a leaping Butler, who kept in place of Craig Kieswetter who was away on England duty.
In the space of three balls from Kieron Pollard Geraint Jones (25) cut a short one to deep cover then Darren Stevens (6) mistimed a slower ball into the hands of Marcus Trescothick at extra cover to make it 61 for five.
Sam Northeast and Azhar Mahmood (15) took the hosts to the brink of three figures before the ex-Pakistan Test star lost his off stump to an Alfonso Thomas yorker to leave Kent“s victory chances in ruins.
Thomas finished with three for 15 and Pollard four for 15 as Kent lost their last five wickets for 13 runs.
The Spitfires will hope for an improved performance on Wednesday when they return to Worsley Bridge Road to take on local rivals Surrey starting at 5.30pm.