Match Report: Essex Eagles vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Report: Essex Eagles vs. Kent Spitfires

Daniel Bell-Drummond hammered 50 off 29 balls as Kent Spitfires beat Essex Eagles by 28 runs on DLS – after lightning and then rain brought an early end to the Vitality Blast match.

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Bell-Drummond clubbed his third fifty of the competition during an 89-run stand for the first wicket with Zak Crawley.

The Spitfires endured two collapses to slump to 167 for nine as Simon Harmer claimed four for 26, including his 50th Blast wicket for Essex, and Dan Lawrence a county T20 record of four catches in the innings.

But 31 for four, including two scalps for Matt Milnes, in five overs meant the Eagles were short of the DLS target of 59 – handing Kent their sixth victory of the campaign.

Bell-Drummond and Crawley got the Spitfires off to a flier having been stuck in by Harmer on a used hybrid track.

Crawley received two lives, dropped on one and 14, as Bell-Drummond slapped Jamie Porter for two sixes – the visitors pummelling 82 off the Powerplay.

But after two miserly overs, Kent collapsed in sensational style with five wickets lost for 22 runs in 25 balls, as spin took over.

Nijjar, who eventually took one for 13 in an ungenerous spell, celebrated with Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic ‘Sii’ leap after bowling Crawley for 43, before Joe Denly was caught by Lawrence at deep midwicket trying to replicate the six he had struck the previous ball and Jack Leaning was stumped off Harmer.

Lawrence turned snarer when Bell-Drummond – who had reached a 28 ball half-century – spliced to a sprawling Harmer and Alex Blake was caught behind.

Newly contracted Darren Stevens and Jordan Cox resuscitated the innings with a 44-run stand, with Stevens clubbing a pair of sixes, but another wicket furry ended the innings – this time four wickets falling in 16 balls.

Stevens, Cox and Qais Ahmad were all caught by Lawrence and Matt Milnes was bowled by Jimmy Neesham with the last ball.

Unlike the Spitfires, the Eagles did not pump runs early on.

Will Buttleman was beaten by Milnes’ pace and bounce to be caught behind and Adam Wheater was leg-before attempting to sweep Joe Denly.

Michael Pepper chipped a Milnes slower ball to mid-off and former Spitfire Jimmy Neesham edged Fred Klaassen thickly to gully.

With lightning striking behind the Hayes Close End and then rain the game was called off after the fifth over – the minimum needed to create a result.


Kent Spitfires will look to avenge defeat at Taunton with the visit of Somerset to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Monday 28 June (19:00 start).

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Be in with a chance of winning Darren Stevens’ signed match-worn Vitality Blast shirt by buying any piece of Samurai Sportswear Kent Cricket merchandise online or in-store before 18 July.

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