Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Reigning Vitality Blast champions Kent Spitfires are still searching for a first victory of the T20 season after a 32-run defeat to Surrey at Canterbury.

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After limiting Surrey to 159 for six, they slumped to 127 for nine in reply. It was a comprehensive and fully deserved win for the visitors, who smothered Kent’s run chase and shared the wickets around, with all six bowlers claiming at least one victim.

Reece Topley had Surrey’s best figures with three for 24, while Chris Jordan took two for 27. Joe Denly made 44 for Kent, but lacked any real support during an increasingly doomed run chase.

Sam Curran was Surrey’s top scorer with 43 while Overton added 27 at the death to tilt the momentum in the visitors’ favour. Fred Klaassen took two for 41 and Grant Stewart two for 42.

Will Jacks fell for two in the second over, an ugly swipe off Klaassen flying almost vertically off the top edge before it was caught by Denly.

Jason Roy made 23 before he was bowled by Grant Stewart, while Curran, who’d offered Sam Billings a difficult chance off Qais Ahmad when he was on 35, misjudged a sweep shot and was caught by Klaassen off Matt Milnes.

Sunil Narine hit the first six of the innings when he pulled Grant Stewart over the square leg boundary at the start of the 14th over, but as Surrey looked to accelerate, Laurie Evans was lbw to a Klassen yorker for 19 and Narine hit Stewart to Denly at long on. He was caught for 25, but Stewart was denied a third wicket when Jordan Clark was dropped by Jack Leaning, who may have been distracted by the inrushing Denly.

Jamie Overton smacked Klaassen for successive sixes in the final over and was then dropped by Daniel Bell-Drummond before he was run out for 27 by Billings, chasing a single off the final ball of the innings.

The chase got off to a rocky start when Bell-Drummond flicked Clark to Narine at short fine leg for just three in the second over and Daniel Worrall then had Jordan Cox caught behind for two.

Billings holed out to Jamie Overton and was caught for 16 by Jacks and Alex Blake was out for the same score when he pulled Jordan to Clark. When Narine tempted Jack Leaning to swish a delivery to Chris Jordan for just one, Kent were 75 for five in the 14th over.

With five overs left the rate had climbed to 15 and with no choice but to go down swinging, George Linde was out for 13 to a brilliant piece of fielding by Jordan. Linde drove Topley to the boundary, but Jordan threw the ball in the air before stepping over the boundary and stepping back in again to complete the catch.

Supporters were leaving in their droves well before the end and although they missed some late pyrotechnics from Grant Stewart, who hit sixes from successive Topley deliveries, he was out for 17 when he skied Topley to Jamie Smith.

Denly fell in almost identical fashion to the final ball of the 19th, leaving Kent needing an impossible 42 from the final six balls.

Qais was caught by Evans of Jordan for five but by then it was academic.

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Kent’s Ryan ten Doeschate said: “We changed our tactics here, obviously we wanted to bat second and chase judging from the first two games.

“I feel like we’ve been outskilled and there’s been a drain in confidence from our first four games. It’s certainly not our best that we’ve put out that and I feel for the guys in there.

“I think Surrey are a very accomplished side but I think Kent are as well, they’re reigning champions. I think confidence has got a big part to play, and some of the batters are a bit scratchy at the moment. I think 160 was a fair score but 20 off the last over changed the mood a little. The things that you could point your finger at with champions like complacency or arrogance, or shying away from the work that’s absolutely not the case with this group. Everyone’s trying really hard. It’s just a case of dusting ourselves off and keeping on coming.

“It’s not fair to say the tournament’s gone, I’ve seen guys turn it around. It’s a long way back from here, but let’s focus on Sunday.”

Next Home Match

Kent Spitfires take on Middlesex on Sunday afternoon at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

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