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T20 Blast: Kent Spitfires beat Somerset by 41 runs

Imran Qayyum produced career-best T20 figures of 5-21 as Kent Spitfires got off to a flying start on Saturday night.

Spitfires successfully defended 165-9 as Somerset collapsed from 54-1 to 74-7 under the lights in Canterbury.

Overseas star Mohammed Nabi and Ollie Robinson earlier both marked their T20 debuts for Kent with vital contributions with the bat.

Ollie Robinson made a half-century on his T20 debut for Kent Spitfires against Somerset. Picture: Ady Kerry
Ollie Robinson made a half-century on his T20 debut for Kent Spitfires against Somerset. Picture: Ady Kerry

The pair were needed after Spitfires lost two wickets in the first two overs, having won the toss and decided to bat.

Somerset's decision to open the bowling with leg spinner Max Waller paid immediate dividends when Zak Crawley was trapped in front on the back foot for just four from the fourth ball of the innings.

Stand-in skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond went at the start of the next over, bowled by paceman Jerome Taylor, when he nicked a good delivery to James Hildreth at slip.

Nabi hit three sixes during the powerplay as Spitfires quickly recovered, aided by the calm Robinson at the other end, to 54-2 in six overs.

Nabi found another maximum off Waller, but then could only pick out long-off from the next delivery to depart for 34 with Spitfires 68-3 in the eighth over.

Robinson reached his half-century in 39 balls with six fours, seemingly totally unfazed by the short format of the game having already made a big impression this summer.

Alex Blake picked out cover to go for 12, and Sean Dickson made just two before Robinson went for 53, stumped after dancing down the track to Roelof van der Merwe, who got one to turn past the outside edge.

Kent's Sean Dickson is caught by the keeper. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Sean Dickson is caught by the keeper. Picture: Ady Kerry

It left Spitfires 122-6 with more than four overs left of their reply to go and, while Adam Milne hit a couple of boundaries, Jordan Cox went cheaply and Milne then walked across a straight one from van der Merwe (3-19) on 11.

Hardus Viljoen helped Kent to a respectable 165-9 in their 20 overs with a huge six from the penultimate delivery, Qayyum also weighing in with a maximum late on.

Viljoen carried his form into the first over he bowled in Somerset's reply, beating Babar Azam for pace to leave the visitors 21-1.

Qayyum struck at the end of his first over, Tom Banton picking out Fred Klaassen at long-off to go for 28.

Qayyum went one better in his next over, having Peter Trego brilliantly caught in the deep by Jordan Cox and then bowling James Hildreth for three. It left Somerset 62-4 from nine overs.

Somerset could not keep Qayyum out of the action and they pressed the self-destruct button in the next over, Tom Lammonby run out for one after attempting a second.

Qayyum struck twice in his third over, van der Merwe picking out Nabi and then Robinson producing an excellent stumping to remove Tom Abell for 10 and leave Somerset 74-7 - five wickets falling in the space fo 15 balls.

Viljoen (2-36) returned to have Jamie Overton caught at fine leg by Nabi, who himself was wicketless with the ball.

Milne picked up his first wicket by bowling Taylor and then finished with 2-15 after bowling Waller to wrap up the win and dismiss Somerset for 124.

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