Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Gloucestershire

Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Gloucestershire

Kent Spitfires held their nerve to win a thriller against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

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The visitors needed 10 off the final over, but Fred Klassen responded with two wickets from the first two balls, to give The Spitfires their third Vitality Blast win out of three, by five runs.

Gloucestershire had looked favourites after racing to 54 without loss, Chris Dent making 40 and Glenn Phillips 38. Kent then reduced them to 125 for five, but just as Benny Howell seemed to have tilted the balance back in the visitors’ favour he was out for 48, and they finished on 178 for eight.

Earlier Jack Leaning hit an unbeaten 81 from 51 balls as Kent recovered from 16 for 3 to reach 183 for five. Daniel Bell-Drummond was the next highest scorer with 51, while David Payne took three for 30.

Kent won the toss and chose to bat, but lost Joe Denly to the fourth ball of the innings, bowled middle stump by Payne for four. In the next over Josh Shaw bowled Ollie Robinson for two, sending his off stump flying and in the third Alex Blake was caught behind off Payne for nought, after a sharp one-handed catch by Phillips.

Bell-Drummond and Leaning steadied the innings with 76 for the fourth wicket before the former was bowled by Graeme van Buuren. Payne then had Jordan Cox caught at first slip by a diving Matt Taylor for 15, but Leaning and Darren Stevens, who cracked a quickfire 16 from seven balls, put on 52, including 27 off the final over.

Gloucestershire’s openers started well before Dent was caught on the square leg boundary by Leaning off Milnes. Miles Hammond then tried to reverse-sweep Qais Ahmad and was lbw for 14.

Denly caught and bowled Ian Cockbain for seven and the momentum shifted when Ahmad had Phillips caught by Cox at long on and Jack Taylor holed out to Denly and was caught by Blake for nine. Howell, however, survived an appeal for caught behind off a Denly wide and nearly stole the victory, only to be bowled with the first ball of Klaassen’s death over.

Klaassen then had Matt Taylor caught by Cox off the next delivery. Singles were scrambled off the next two deliveries before van Burren was run out for 17 chasing a second from the fifth ball. Needing six off the final ball to tie, Josh Shaw could only manage a single.

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