Home   Canterbury   Sport   Article

Sam Billings hits career-best 106 off 58 balls as Kent Spitfires (198-6) beat Somerset (197-6) by four wickets

Skipper Sam Billings scored a match-winning century to guide Kent Spitfires to a four-wicket win over Somerset in the Vitality Blast at Canterbury on Friday night.

Chasing 198, Kent were reeling on 37-4 in the fifth over but they were rescued a sensational innings by Billings, who hit a career-best 106 from 58 balls, with 14 fours and two sixes.

The ton comes just days after Billings revealed that having a prolonged break from the game at the start of this season was “the best decision my cricketing life”.

“It was an awesome win against the champions,” said Billings. “They’re a great side, so it’s great to get over the line and what a start to our home campaign here at Canterbury.

“Joe (Denly) wasn’t too impressed when I told him he’s going to bat in the middle order this year. He’s been fantastic for so long but we need that experience in the middle. It’s the hardest place to bat for a reason and it just felt like our combination potentially could be invaluable. It was a great partnership at nearly 11 an over, and I think we both compliment each other pretty well.

“I took my time, I think I was 10 off 10 or something and that’s where I play my best, just giving myself a little bit of time because I know that I can put people under pressure. I think in the past I’ve maybe tried too hard to hit fifth or sixth gear too quickly and you know here at Canterbury the wicket’s so good that if you do get in it’s very hard for people to stop you.

“We just batted really well as a partnership and then Joey Evison, mature beyond his years, batted beautifully at the end.

“I had to do the baby celebration as my missus was watching on the stream. She’s happy and it’s been and amazing few months for us.

“It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the game so that’s the most important thing, to get the two points.”

Sam Billings - scored a career-best 106 for Kent Spitfires on Friday night. Picture: Keith Gillard
Sam Billings - scored a career-best 106 for Kent Spitfires on Friday night. Picture: Keith Gillard

By the time Billings departed, Spitfires needed just six from the last six balls. Joey Evison hit the winning runs to complete a brilliant victory for the hosts.

Earlier Will Smeed blasted 68 from 30 balls as Somerset posted 197-6, while Tom Kohler-Cadmore was the next highest scorer with 42. Having shipped 95 in eight overs for the opening wicket, Kent reined the visitors in slightly as Matt Parkinson took 2-36 and Zak Crawley took four catches, equalling Kent’s Blast record.

Somerset were asked to bat and Smeed rode his luck at times, but he creamed Evison for 18 in the eighth over, only to hit the final delivery to Tawanda Muyeye on the boundary.

Tom Banton went three balls later for 26, when Marcus O’Riordan saw him charge down the wicket and had him stumped off a wide. Parkinson then got Tom Abell for 12 when Crawley covered 40 yards to reel him in at deep mid-wicket.

Sean Dickson made 26 from 18 before he skyed Parkinson to Crawley, who then took his third catch when Kohler-Cadmore miscued a full toss from Beyers Swanepoel.

Lewis Gregory went for 12 when he hit Bartlett’s penultimate ball of the innings to Crawley on the cow corner boundary.

In Kent’s reply, Crawley then hit the first ball from Overton straight to Roelof van der Merwe.

Overton then bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond for three and took a brilliant diving catch off Sonny Baker to remove Muyeye for 15 before O’Riordan went for 14, when he hit Jake Ball straight to Smeed at fly slip.

Billings and Denly dragged Kent back into it with an exhilarating stand of 109, before the latter went for 32 when he tried to ramp Ball and was caught by Baker.

The 18th over proved pivotal. Billings smeared Gregory through cover to reach his century and he celebrated by leaping in the air before doing a baby-rocking motion.

Evison then hit successive fours to leave Kent needing just 10 from the last two. When Billings was caught by Dickson on the boundary, Kent still needed six off the last over.

But Evison cut van der Merwe’s first ball for four and scrambled two off the next ball to complete a stunning win.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More