An explosive 47 from 20 balls – which was backed up by two wickets – from Darren Stevens inspired a 42-run win for Kent over Somerset in their rain-affected T20 tie at Taunton on Friday night.
Poor weather reduced the match further to only 13 overs aside, but the Spitfires wasted no time in getting to work on building an imposing total.
And that is exactly what they did by the end of their innings, giving themselves a very comfortable 164 to defend when they stepped out of the pavilion to field.
It was through the top order of their batting line-up in which the victory was assured early on. Daniel Bell-Drummond – just days after getting a pair at Gloucestershire – led the way with an explosive 59 off only 30 deliveries.
He was supported well by captain, Rob Key (46), whose strike rate surpassed 200. When the first wicket fell after 6.2 overs, the visitors had already raced along to 85.
And the fragmenting of the opening partnership was not to slow down the charge. Incoming Stevens (47) also scored rapidly as Kent looked to belatedly begin their T20 campaign with a bang.
The short boundaries in Somerset were very welcoming as the Spitfires’ batsmen filled their boots after being put into bat first by Marcus Trescothick.
Three Kent wickets fell in the final seven deliveries, but that wasn’t to take any of the shine away from a terrific opening innings.
Dirk Nannes was the only Somerset bowler who could really hold his head high, claiming figures of 2-15 from three overs.
That impressive return was actually bettered by all-rounder, Stevens. The former Leicestershire hitter took 2-14 from his three allotted overs.
Opening the bowling, Stevens dismissed danger man, Trescothick (3), in just the third over.
Craig Kieswetter (40) offered some resistance throughout most of the innings, but ultimately didn’t score fast enough to keep the pressure on Kent.
The wicketkeeper was one of three victims to fall at the hands of Doug Bollinger. The Australian’s return of 3-36 was important in limiting the opponents’ ability to chase down the victory target.
James Hildreth offered the best hope of an unlikely triumph with his unbeaten 58 from 29 balls. Scoring at two runs a ball kept par with his Kent contemporaries, but not enough of his teammates could be so ruthless at the crease.
Kent were able to limit Somerset to just 122-5 in reply, prompting a 42-run win for the visiting side.
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