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Kent Spitfires suffer eight wicket defeat at Surrey in NatWest T20 Blast South Group with 13 balls to spare

By Alex Hoad

A depleted Kent Spitfires were humbled by Surrey at The Oval in NatWest T20 Blast on Wednesday night as their hopes they had of a quarter-final place were dealt a huge blow.

The visitors were on the end of a blistering run-chase which saw Surrey's illustrious line-up secure a comfortable win by eight wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Already without leading wicket taker Doug Bollinger (shoulder) and death bowler David Griffiths (hamstring), Kent lost skipper and leading run-scorer Rob Key in the warm-up to a hamstring strain of his own.

All-rounder Darren Stevens was installed as Kent captain for the first time and after the visitors were put in, Fabian Cowdrey promoted to open alongside Daniel Bell-Drummond on what was to be a memorable night for him individually.

Bell-Drummond (4) lasted just four balls as he was bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sam Northeast (2) was caught by Roy off Robin Peterson to leave the visitors 14-2.

Alex Blake (15) joined Cowdrey to steer Kent to 60-2 before being bowled by Gareth Batty, one of four spinners used by the hosts.

Stevens and Cowdrey then joined forces to put on 62 in a 7.4 over partnership with Cowdrey eventually departing for a career T20 best 55 from 45 balls, finding the rope six times.

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

Stevens played a typically breezy innings to finish with an unbeaten 56 from 38 balls, cracking two sixes and four fours and, along with Sam Billings (12) guiding the visitors to 155-4 after 20 overs.

Surrey's star-studded lineup always looked capable of a successful chase and the tone was set from the very first ball of the reply as Jason Roy launched Adam Riley for a big six over mid-off.

He added two more sixes and 10 fours in a blistering assault on the Kent attack, with Riley, Stevens and Adam Ball going for more than 10 an over.

After being dropped by Ball, Roy eventually departed for 79 off 46 balls as he mistimed a big shot off Riley to Sam Northeast in the deep.

At 118-1 from 12.2 overs the majority of the work was done, though Dilshan chipped a Cowdrey delivery to Stevens after a classy 46 from 38 balls.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen added to the fireworks with a six and a four in a unbeaten 16-run cameo but Gary Wilson edged a four to seal victory by eight wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Tredwell and Cowdrey were the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 0-20 from four overs and 1-20 from 3.5 overs respectively.

Kent lie sixth in South Group after a fifth game without a win, a point away from the top four who qualify for the knockout stages.

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