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Match Report: Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires took on Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground in a Friday night Vitality Blast showdown.

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Kent Spitfires ended up second-best in a five-over-aside hit-out against Somerset after a lengthy rain delay at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton.

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Charged with the task of chasing a revised target of 61 off five overs, Kent couldn’t match the run-rate of their opponents in the lottery of a much-shortened match, with Australian quick Riley Meredith and Jake Ball, who returned figures of 1-15 and 1-19 in two overs respectively. Kent came up short at 46-5.

Kent skipper Sam Billings won the toss and elected to field under heavy grey skies, before Xavier Bartlett conceded 11 runs to openers Tom Banton and Will Smeed in the first over and then the rain intervened, forcing the players to run for the cover of the pavilion at 6.35pm.

Thereafter, umpires Ian Blackwell and Mark Newell staged a couple of inspections and the Taunton ground staff twice attempted to remove the covers, only for the wet weather to return on each occasion and prevent a quick resumption. When the elements finally relented and mopping up operations were completed, it was announced that play would resume at 9.02pm with the game reduced to five overs-a-side.

Kent made the best possible start upon the resumption, overseas bowler Stobo having Smeed caught at deep mid-on with his first ball in T20 cricket in his career. Kohler-Cadmore made amends, smashing a six and four off the first two deliveries he faced as Somerset plundered 13 runs to finish the second over on 24-1.

Kohler-Cadmore pulled Stewart for another four in the third, only for the pace bowler to exact an instantaneous revenge next ball, inducing Banton to hit straight to cover and depart for seven with the score on 31. Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory hit the ground running, driving his first ball for a sumptuous four as the home side advanced to 37-2.

Gilchrist’s first delivery in T20 cricket will be one he will want to forget in a hurry, Kohler-Cadmore carting him over mid-wicket for an enormous six. Gregory drove the third ball of the over back down the ground for four, only to then hole out in the deep, while Kohler-Cadmore departed in similar fashion as Gilchrist held his nerve to reduce the home side to 49-4 at the end of the fourth.

Ben Green and Tom Abell were run out in the final over as disciplined Kent turned the screw, Bartlett conceding just six runs from it as Somerset finished up on 55-6.

Required to score 61 off 30 balls to win, the Spitfires made a stuttering start to their reply, Zac Crawley being run out by substitute fielder Kasey Aldridge and Daniel Bell-Drummond top-edging a pull shot to short square leg as Meredith reduced the visitors to 9-2.

Billings opened up with a pulled four at the expense of Jake Ball, but the seamer recovered well, persuading Marcus O’Riordan to present Abell with a straightforward catch at long-off in an over that cost just nine runs. Kent’s frustration knew no bounds when Meredith restricted them to a mere seven runs in the third over with very wide & short deliveries, leaving the visitors needing to score an unlikely 36 off 12 balls.

Big-hitting Billings opened his shoulders and helped himself to a brace of fours off Ball in the fourth, only to then take on Abell’s arm and be run out for a 10-ball 16 attempting a second run. Kent required 26 runs off the final over, but Green demonstrated a cool head to frustrate the best efforts of Joe Denly and Stewart.

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Kent Head Coach Matt Walker said: “It’s a bit of a frustrating night all round if I’m honest. Five over games are never ideal and tend to be a bit of a lottery. I thought we probably allowed them a few too many boundaries

“That said, we still felt we could chase 61 to win on that pitch. But Riley Meredith bowled well up top for them and we didn’t make the best of starts. It’s all about gaining momentum and putting the opposition under pressure in this format, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Frank Woolley Stand SOLD OUT for the Battle of the Bridge

Tickets for one of the biggest rivalries in county cricket are selling fast!

Frank Woolley Stand tickets for Kent Spitfires vs. Essex on Friday 21 June have now completely SOLD OUT, with an allocation set aside for Kent Members.

Avoid disappointment by buying your Battle of the Bridge T20 tickets today for what promises to be an electric atmosphere at The Spitfire Ground under lights:

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Vitality Blast is back in Canterbury!

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