Match Report: Essex Eagles vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Report: Essex Eagles vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires were defeated by seven wickets at Chelmsford in their away trip to Essex Eagles in the Vitality Blast.

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The Eagles’ bowling powerplay had earlier set the platform to stunt Kent, as Daniel Sams, Sam Cook, Ben Allison and Matt Critchley all eventually snared two wickets each.

Eagles decided to bowl first and vindicated their decision with a good display of powerplay bowling to leave Spitfires 24 for four, a minor recovery from 17 for four. Daniel Sams, Sam Cook and Ben Allison all bowled two overs, with stunning figures of one for seven, one for three and two for nine respectively.

Australian Sams produced a snorter to have Daniel Bell-Drummond caught at first slip in the first over, before T20 debutant Tawanda Muyeye holed Allison out to deep midwicket and Jordan Cox tickled to a juggling short fine leg two balls later. Cook completed the ruthless start when Grant Stewart miss-hit to point.

Alex Blake attempted to readdress the momentum by striking back-to-back sixes, as Aron Nijjar went for 21 in his sole over. But despite partnerships of 29 with Sam Billings – who was brilliantly caught and bowled by Simon Harmer – and 27 with Jack Leaning, setting a total was laborious.

Leg spinner Matt Critchley bowled Leaning and had George Linde slicing to Sams at point.

Fred Klaassen outdid all three Essex powerplay bowlers to bowl a maiden and then a wicket maiden – having bowled Adam Rossington.

Buttleman ended his run of three single-figure scores by opening up the off side with a trio of boundaries. But departed when Blake unleashed his inner Harlem Globetrotter to reach the ball, pop the ball up, roll over and complete a jaw-dropping diving catch.

Pepper added three more maximums off the spinners before he moved to a third format fifty from 28 balls. He fell when he top-edged a sweep to short fine leg, but Critchley and Paul Walter – who struck three massive sixes –  ticked off the remaining 46 runs.

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Kent Spitfires Head Coach, Matt Walker, said: “The game was lost in the first six overs being 24 for four, you aren’t winning too many games from that position.

“We tried to pull some punches but it is a long way back from that position. As much as we scrapped we didn’t quite use our brain enough, where we should have got closer to 150. 130 was never going to be enough.

“After those initial wickets it was always going to be a cruise for them. We keep making the same mistakes unfortunately, when the basic skills aren’t good enough it is going to be hard to win games of cricket and that’s where it has been all campaign really. We’ve made the same errors over and over again.

“There are still seven games to go and we need to win them all, starting with Somerset on Friday night. Eventually we will get to the stage if we don’t win the next few games it will be playing for pride. But we need to keep believing as anything can happen in this competition.

“We still feel we are in this competition, it is going to take an almighty effort to do something to get us there but it has to turn around at some stage.”

Next Home Match

Kent host Gloucestershire in the return of the LV= Insurance County Championship at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

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