Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Match Report: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Kent Spitfires welcomed Surrey to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence for a Sunday afternoon Vitality Blast match-up.

Kent Spitfires will face Hampshire Hawks in a T20 showdown at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence – under the lights on a Friday night:

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Kent Spitfires missed out against Surrey after a nerve-shredding run chase for the away side in the Vitality Blast at Canterbury that went all the way to the final ball.

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Surrey seemed to be cruising to the target after Laurie Evans hit 52, but a cluster of wickets kept the hosts in contention until Jamie Smith and Sean Abbott took charge.

Michael Hogan was left to defend nine off the final over: Surrey tied the scores with one ball remaining and Jack Leaning just failed to cling on to an exocet from Smith off the last delivery.

Earlier Will Jacks took three for 28 as the Spitfires were limited to 173 for 5, although having been 122 for five after 16 overs, Kent at least made things interesting. Leaning was unbeaten on 34 and Sam Billings was Kent’s next highest scorer with 30.

Kent chose to bat in front of a crowd of 4,500, believed to be a record for a Sunday afternoon at the Spitfire Ground, but they lost Tawanda Muyeye for nine at the end of the first over when he was bowled by Jacks.

Joe Denly then blasted 27 from 14 balls, but when Jacks pinged his off stump it drastically slowed the run rate.

Daniel Bell-Drummond was out for 25 when he drove Jacks straight to Abbott at deep mid-on and 6.2 overs went by without a boundary until Jordan Cox pulled Chris Jordan for four in the 11th.

Billings then reverse swept Sunil Narine for six in the 13th but he was bowled leg stump off the fifth ball of the over.

The score would have been significantly lower had Surrey not shelled four chances. Cox was the first to be reprieved when he was dropped by Jamie Overton on 20, although he’d added just three when Overton atoned, snaring him on the boundary after he’d reverse-wept Narine.

Leaning was then dropped by Gus Atkinson on seven and George Linde was on 15 when Jacks parried a catchable slog off Jordan over the rope for six. Ben Foakes couldn’t cover enough ground to snare Leaning after a miscued scoop off the same bowler and the batter cashed in when he hit Sam Curran for 16 off the 20th, including an overthrow after a rash shy at the stumps by the bowler from the final delivery.

It was a total that at least allowed the home fans some hope and although Jacks and Evans charged to 62 for nought at the end of the powerplay, there was a mini-wobble when Jacks was out for 30, skying Denly to Hogan and Grant Stewart then duped Sam Curran, who was caught by a diving Joey Evison at mid-off for 10.

When Linde struck twice in 13th to remove Foakes and Evans, both caught on the boundary by Kane Richardson and Muyeye respectively, the game was back in the balance and in the next over Tom Curran swiped Stewart to Richardson, leaving Surrey on 106 for five.

At which point Abbott and Smith intervened. With 48 needed from the last four Kent were arguably favourites, but Richardson’s 17th over went for 16, Stewart’s 18th went for 14 before the penultimate, from Richardson, shipped seven.

Needing nine to win off the last over, the first four deliveries yielded four and Smith swept four from the penultimate ball to tie the scores.

The field came in for the final delivery and Leaning flung himself at a violent cut from Smith, but he couldn’t cling on for what would have been a spectacular one-handed catch and Surrey had scraped home.

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Kent’s George Linde said: “It’s unfortunate we lost that one. I thought we had it but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. It’s just unlucky, it’s one of those things.

“I thought 170 on that wicket was a pretty good total. We would have expected about 160 on that wicket and we got 12 runs more so I thought it was enough, but unfortunately it wasn’t. They played well so hats off to them.

“We had momentum when we came on to bowl but unfortunately they took that powerplay on quite well. I think that’s when they probably won the game.”

“I’d been playing good cricket before I came here. I struggled in the first couple of games but I feel pretty confident. I back myself and I know what a player I can be. I’ve got to prove to the Kent fans who I am and hopefully this season that’ll happen and I’m pretty confident that it will. We’re definitely still in it.”

Next Home Match

Canterbury Cricket Week is back!

Kent Spitfires will face Essex in a T20 showdown back at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence at a new start time of 18:30 on Wednesday 7 June:

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Ticket holders for this match also gain complimentary access to South East Stars vs. Central Sparks in the Charlotte Edwards Cup T20 competition from 14:00 on the same day.