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Kent beaten by Gloucestershire in Vitality Blast match at Canterbury

By Josh Fordham

Kent suffered their second defeat of the 2018 Vitality Blast campaign after losing Gloucestershire on Sunday.

The visiting side went level on points with the Spitfires, who started the day top of the table, after their eight wicket victory at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Joe Denly was left stranded on 99 not out in Kent’s innings as they posted a below par 160-5.

Gloucestershire eased to victory with four balls to spare after Miles Hammond did the hard work at the top of the order making 51 from 31 balls.

Joe Denly. Picture: Chris Davey.
Joe Denly. Picture: Chris Davey.

Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond got Kent off to a good start in the powerplay making 50 from the first six overs.

Bell-Drummond (19) was out on the first ball after that powerplay when he clipped a full toss straight to Matt Taylor at square leg in Benny Howell’s first over.

Denly brought up his half century from 37 balls and was the only Kent batter to get going during the innings. He ended up a run short of his century after hitting a ball for four on the final delivery of the innings.

Graeme van Burren bowled well for Gloucestershire keeping things tight for his first three overs and claiming the wicket of Heino Kuhn (18). However, his last over was expensive and went for 17 runs, with Denly hitting two sixes in a row, to give him figures of 1-36.

Wickets continued to fall for the home side with Billings (7), Stoinis (7) and Blake (0) all failing to make double figures.

Gloucestershire bowled excellently at the death with just 37 runs coming from the final five overs as Kent ended their innings on 160-5.

David Payne was the most economical of the bowlers taking 1-21 from his four overs.

Miles Hammond and Michael Klinger got Gloucestershire’s chase off to a blistering start scoring 61 from the first six overs without giving Kent any chances.

The much needed breakthrough came for Kent in the ninth over when Haggett removed Hammond who played well for his 51 in 31 balls.

At the halfway stage of the innings the visiting side were cruising to victory needing just 75 from the remaining 60 balls.

Imran Qayyum’s first over of the match was expensive going for 18 runs with a no-ball that went for six and a leg-side wide that went to the boundary.

Kent were given a glimmer of hope when Klinger was out for 46 in Qayyum's third over with the visitors needing 33 from 27 balls.

It was comfortable for Gloucester in the end as they reached their target with eight wickets in hand. Ian Cockbain and Benny Howell seeing their side home with 32 not out and 20 not out respectively.

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