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Kent suffer six-wicket loss against Hampshire in NatWest T20 Blast at Canterbury

Captain Sam Northeast top-scored with 54 Picture: Barry Goodwin
Captain Sam Northeast top-scored with 54 Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kent suffered a second consecutive NatWest T20 Blast South Group loss after Hampshire captain James Vince inspired his side to a six-wicket win at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, on Friday night.

Vince hit an unbeaten 99 as Hampshire chased down Kent's 183-5 with a ball to spare.

The opener smashed five sixes and eight fours in his 57-ball innings.

The loss sees Hampshire replace Kent at the top of the ladder while the Spitfires drop to second.

In a game reduced to 18 overs a side due to rain, Matt Coles (2-44) gave Kent a perfect start when Hampshire started their run-chase.

He had Michael Carberry (3) caught behind by young wicket-keeper Ryan Davies, who was making his T20 debut, with the fourth ball of the first over.

The same combination combined to get rid of Jimmy Adams (16) in the third over to leave the visitors 31-2.

Vince and veteran Owais Shah put on 44 before Darren Stevens (1-31) had Shah lbw for 18 with the visitors 75-3 after eight overs.

Sean Irvine (37) then added 58 with Vince before Adam Ball (1-30) had him caught in the deep by Daniel Bell-Drummond.

There was to be no more joy for Kent as Vince and Adam Wheater (11 not out) saw their side home with Vince hitting Mitch Claydon (0-37) for four with the fifth ball of the final over.

It proved to be an expensive return from injury for spinner James Tredwell, going for 45 off his four overs.

Earlier, Kent captain Sam Northeast continued his purple patch of form in the competition by top-scoring with 54.

He hit one six and seven fours in his 33-ball innings.

West Indian quick Fidel Edwards (2-41) took the first Kent wicket to fall when he bowled Joe Denly for six in the second over and with the score on 14.

Denly's opening partner Bell-Drummond was next to depart when he was bowled for 19 by former Kent man Yasir Arafat (2-44) with the first ball of the sixth over to leave Kent 47-2.

The 50 came up in the sixth over before Fabian Cowdrey (13) was bowled by spinner Danny Briggs (1-37).

Northeast and Darren Stevens (25) brought the Kent 100 in the 12th over before the captain holed out in the deep, caught by Chris Wood off Edwards.

Stevens departed 30 runs later when he was caught at deep mid-off by Adams off Arafat.

That proved to be the last success for the Hampshire attack as Alex Blake took the attack to the bowlers, hammering 49 not out off 25 balls, including 21 off one Arafat over.

Blake smashed two sixes and six fours in his scintillating cameo.

Kent play Essex at the same venue on Thursday.

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