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Kent Spitfires beat Somerset by 40 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method after bad weather and a mini tornado leads to play being abandoned

By Alex Hoad

Kent's clash with Somerset was halted by a mini-tornado in Canterbury on Friday night before the Spitfires were declared winners by 40 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method.

The Spitfires were firmly in the driving seat, reducing Somerset to 59-5 from 7.3 overs, chasing the hosts 195-7, when threatening clouds arrived over the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, and gale force winds whipped a mini tornado onto the outfield.

Club officials - aware of reports of tornados in east Kent earlier in the evening - sent a message to the umpires asking them to bring the players off the field so the floodlights could be lowered in high winds.

Earlier Sam Northeast (73) and Rob Key (72) amassed a record 135-run second wicket partnership in little more than 13 overs after Daniel Bell-Drummond was bowled by the first ball of the match by Dirk Nannes (3-30).

Northeast was just two off his T20 best when he mistimed one of Tim Groenewald straight into the sky and after an age the South African-born quick held onto a tumbling catch.

Key moved onto 72 from 42 balls when he was run-out in ugly fashion to end a beautiful innings, easing up while chasing a quick single after a Darren Stevens mishit. Thinking he was in no danger the skipper did not reach for the crease and was run-out by inches as Groenewald kicked the ball against his stumps.

Key had cracked four sixes and five fours while Northeast hit 11 fours and a six in his impressive knock.

Stevens (11) and Sam Billings (16 from nine balls) were the only others to reach double figures as Kent fell short of the 200 mark which had looked a certainty until the second wicket went down with 6.3 overs remaining.

With dark clouds looming, the reply began in superb fashion for the hosts with Stevens getting Lewis Gregory to clip straight to Fabian Cowdrey in the first over, while Ben Harmison had Marcus Trescothick superbly caught by Bell-Drummond in the second to leave the visitors on 13-2.

Peter Trego (4) and James Hildreth (0) both fell to a double wicket maiden from Stevens second over as Somerset slumped to 18-4.

Colin Ingram smote a lively 37 not out from 18 balls to keep the visitors alive, but as the winds strengthened and the lightning began, Chris Jones gave Stevens his fourth victim, and Cowdrey a second catch, for another duck.

Stevens 4-17 return was his second best in T20 cricket, and when the cyclical winds eventually became too strong for the televised game to continue, Somerset went off on 59-5, 40 short of the D/L par.

The win left Kent sixth in South Group of NatWest T20 Blast, but with no chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals from their final game against Surrey next Friday.

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