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Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Gloucestershire

Kent Spitfires faced Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in their first home Vitality Blast match for seven days.


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Miles Hammond hit a blistering 80 as Gloucestershire defeated the Kent Spitfires by nine wickets in the Vitality Blast at Canterbury.

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Hammond hit five sixes and eight fours in a 41-ball innings, while his opening partner Cameron Bancroft made an unbeaten 39 as the visitors coasted home with 8.2 overs to spare, finishing on 127 for one.

Hammond and Bancroft cashed in after the visitors produced a stifling display in the field to skittle Kent for just 125: Matt Taylor took three for 30 and keeper James Bracey ran out three batters. Sam Billings was the top scorer with 36 and Daniel Bell-Drummond the next highest with just 19.

Buoyed after snatching a dramatic tie at Surrey on Friday night, Gloucestershire vindicated their decision to bowl by ripping through Kent’s top order.

For the fourth consecutive innings Zak Crawley failed to reach double figures, chipping David Payne to Hammond for seven.

Josh Shaw then got Joe Denly for 13 when he misjudged a ramp shot and was caught by Marchant de Lange at short fine-leg.

Graeme van Buuren bowled Marcus O’Riordan for 12 and a slower ball from de Lange accounted for Daniel Bell-Drummond, who pulled him to Cameron Bancroft for 19.

Billings and Tawanda Muyeye managed a partial rebuild until the latter was run out for 10 by Bracey, aiming at one stump after an abortive appeal for a catch.

Kent’s hopes of a competitive total plunged when Taylor struck twice in three balls at the start of the 15th. Billings skied his first delivery to David Payne and Grant Stewart then went for a second ball duck when he chipped Taylor straight to Hammond at mid-wicket.

The same combination removed Joey Evison for 10, caught at deep mid-wicket and the innings concluded with run outs off successive balls in the final over.

Nathan Gilchrist charged down the wicket after the fourth ball while Xavier Bartlett stood motionless at the other end and Matt Parkinson tried to scramble a single off the fifth only to meet an identical fate.

The Spitfires needed early wickets to stand any chance of defending such a low total and although Bartlett was unlucky not to find the edge, there was never any serious pressure. The fourth over went for 22 and Hammond smeared Bartlett for a six over cow corner to pass 50.

He finally fell when Gilchrist had him caught on the boundary by Stewart, leaving Bancroft to complete the win in style when he smeared O’Riordan for six.

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