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Kent Spitfires held to a tie at Glamorgan in NatWest T20 Blast South Group despite heroics from all-rounder Darren Stevens

By Alex Hoad

Kent Spitfires were held to a dramatic tie at Glamorgan in NatWest T20 Blast South Group on Friday night, despite a heroic effort with bat and ball from talisman Darren Stevens.

The all-rounder was the pick of the Kent attack in Cardiff, collecting figures of 3-22 from four fine overs and helping restrict the hosts to 177-7.

The 38-year-old then produced a trademark innings with the bat to haul the Spitfires back into contention, smashing six sixes in a 39-ball knock of 71, which helped the visitors recover from 76-4 at the midway point to a position where they needed just three from the final over to win.

However Kent could not quite get over the finishing line, as a fine final over from Michael Hogan saw him trap Adam Ball LBW and bowl Mitch Claydon in successive deliveries, while Doug Bollinger was run-out attempting the winning run from the final ball.

Stevens was to the fore from the start, having Jacques Rudolph caught by Bollinger from the fourth ball of the first over, after Rob Key had won the toss and put the hosts in.

Darren Stevens Picture: Barry Goodwin
Darren Stevens Picture: Barry Goodwin

Mark Wallace (33) and Jim Allenby (54) put on 76 for the second wicket in seven overs but they fell to Ball and Stevens respectively, and when Stevens had Murray Goodwin superbly caught by Daniel Bell-Drummond for one, it was 111-4.

Chris Cooke (34) and Ben Wright (9) kept the score ticking along before both fell to James Tredwell, chosen ahead of Adam Riley as Kent's only spinner, who finished with fine figures of 2-30.

As it was the hosts added just 19 runs from the final 15 deliveries, with Bollinger (1-20) picking up the late wicket of Graham Wagg as the hosts posted 177.

The reply began brightly enough, with Key (15) and Bell-Drummond (18) posting 34 from the first 20 balls, however both openers fell to Darren Sammy in a three-ball burst, while Sam Northeast was run-out for one to make it 48-3 from 5.4 overs.

Alex Blake made 22 before being bowled by Dean Cosker with the final ball of the 10th over, which brought Stevens and Sam Billings together.

The pair gradually turned the tide, putting on 73 in a 7.1 over stand which took them up to 149-4 before Stevens was caught by Cooke off the bowling of spinner Andrew Salter.

Billings put on 18 in eight deliveries with Ball before falling for a vital 33 from 25 balls, caught by Allenby off Wagg, but with 11 needed from nine balls, the visitors were the favourites.

Ball ensured just three were needed from the final over, but Hogan accounted for him and Claydon without any addition to the scoreboard.

Singles from Tredwell and Bollinger ensured Kent could not lose, but the big Aussie was run-out by Rudolph from the final ball to ensure the spoils were shared.

A point apiece kept Glamorgan third and Kent fourth in the South Group standings.

A Championship match between the two begins on Sunday.

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