Spitfires see off Royals

Sunday 21st July 2013

Men’s First Team

Spitfires see off Royals

Kent ended Hampshire's year-long unbeaten record in the Friends Life t20 with a superb eight-run victory over the defending champions at the Ageas Bowl.

Chasing Kent's 143 for eight, Hampshire were restricted to 135 for eight as they crashed to their first defeat in 17 matches in the competition.

In a quirk of fate, their last loss also came at the hands of Kent in Southampton, when they went down by three runs in June 2012.

Hampshire were behind the required run rate throughout their reply. They plundered 34 runs off two overs late in their innings to set up a run-a-ball finale, but failed to get across the line.

Kent freshened up their top order and handed competition debuts to Daniel Bell-Drummond and Fabian Cowdrey. The ploy paid dividends with the pair sharing a bright half-century opening partnership in seven overs before England t20 left-arm spinner Danny Briggs bowled Cowdrey (21) and, in his next over, had Bell-Drummond (27) caught at deep mid-wicket.

Briggs, who returned figures of three for 19, was the catalyst behind the demise of Kent, who fell from the promise of 55 without loss, with Darren Stevens (14) becoming his third victim.

The initial impetus gone, Kent lost wickets in clusters after that, with Alex Blake and Geraint Jones falling in quick succession to leave the visitors 94 for five in the 14th over.

Sam Billings (26) and Vernon Philander (14) improved Kent's position, but Pakistan left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir (three for 29) returned for his second spell to cut through the lower order and leave the Spitfires defending a below par total.

Hampshire soon lost James Vince and later Jimmy Adams to slip to 50 for two.

Michael Carberry (35), with the first six of the match and four boundaries, kept the pot boiling but when he was third man out with the score on 64, Hampshire were already looking to chase a target in excess of eight runs an over.

The asking rate had crept to 11 runs by the start of the16th over when Sean Ervine (27) launched a boundary strewn 18-run assault on Stevens.

Ervine and Neil McKenzie (47) took another 16 runs off the 17th over by Philander to lift Hampshire to 124 for three – and to within 20 runs of victory.

But with Mitchell Claydon remaining calm, Hampshire completely lost their way – the last five wickets falling for nine runs as the Royals fell eight runs short to surrender the unbeaten run.

Kent Spitfires ended their sequence of five losses in five fixtures, and go in to a home game at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence agsint Sussex on Wednesday with renewed expectation. Tickets still available – simply click on the 'Tickets' icon on the home page.