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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Sam Billings and Sam Northeast hit centuries as Kent Spitfires beat Somerset by two runs in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Taunton

31 July 2014
by KentOnline reporter

A remarkable batting performance from Sam Billings was at the heart of Kent's thrilling two-run victory over Somerset in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Taunton.

Coming to the crease with Kent on 166-5 after being put in, the 23-year-old wicketkeeper smashed a superb unbeaten competition-best 135, from just 58 balls, with 17 fours and five sixes as Kent raced to a a mammoth total of 383-7.
 
Together with acting captain Sam Northeast, whose 132 was also a competition-best, he added 157 for the sixth wicket in just 13.1 overs.
 
Opener Northeast made his runs from 132 deliveries, with 14 fours and a six, having shared in a fluent century opening stand with Daniel Bell-Drummond - in for injured skipper Rob Key (hamstring strain) in the one change from the team which beat Durham at Canterbury in Tuesday's opening game.
 
Sam Northeast, left, and Sam Billings Picture Barry Goodwin

Sam Northeast, left, and Sam Billings Picture: Barry Goodwin

 
Bell-Drummond hit a run-a-ball career-best 61, with nine boundaries, but Kent went from 117 without loss to 166-5 with Brendan Nash (8), Darren Stevens (2), Fabian Cowdrey (11) and Alex Blake (0) all going cheaply.
 
Billings went to his century from just 46 balls, with 12 fours and four sixes, while Northeast reached three figures from 115, with eight fours and a six.
 
Kent's total was a club record for 50 overs, beating their 341-6 against Norfolk in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy at Horsford in 2002. Their highest 60-total was 384-6 against Berkshire at Finchampstead in 1994.
 
A short rain break between innings left Somerset with a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 374 from 48 overs, but they suffered an early setback when Marcus Trescothick fell to Doug Bollinger for just four with the score at 10.
 
Nick Compton and Peter Trego then took the score along to 88 before Trego was run out by Northeast for 35. Compton was third out, bowled  by Darren Stevens for 56 with the total at 131 and just five runs later James Tredwell trapped James Hildreth leg before.
 
Mitch Claydon then got in on the act, dismissing Colin Ingram for 20 and at 144-5 the Somerset challenge looked in tatters, but Lewis Gregory and Alex Barrow then revived hopes with a stand of 66 which ended when Gregory was bowled by Cowdrey for 35.
 
Barrow (54) and Craig Overton (36) then continued to push the score along rapidly only for both men to fall to Bollinger in the same over, leaving the hosts on 268-8.
 
At that stage it looked advantage Kent but ninth wicket pair Tim Groenewald and Alfonso Thomas had other ideas plundering runs with ease to get the target down to just 28 runs from the final two overs. 
 
Helped by two boundaries from Groenewald Somerset took 13 from the penultimate over bowled by Bollinger and then boundaries from two of the first three balls of Claydon's final over put the game right up for grabs.
 
Only two singles came from the next two balls, and Claydon then held his nerve from the last restricting the pair to a leg bye as the home side closed on 371-8.
 
Groenewald finished undefeated on 52, from just 27 balls, with six fours and two sixes, while Thomas ended on 49 not out, made from 29 balls with eight fours. The pair added 103 unbroken in just 11 overs
 
Bollinger finished with 3-77 from his 10 overs, while Claydon's 10 cost 96. Stevens was the most economical bowler, with 1-41 from nine overs.
 
Kent now have two wins from two and continue their campaign against Surrey at The Kia Oval on Tuesday (2pm).
 
 

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