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Kent Spitfires (233) lost to Hampshire (396-5) by 163 runs at Beckenham in One-Day Cup

Kent suffered their second Royal London One-Day Cup defeat after losing out to Hampshire at Beckenham on Sunday.

Spitfires were made to toil in the field before their run chase lacked sufficient depth to make for an interesting finale on a warm August afternoon.

Hamidullah Qadri - was the pick of the Kent attack against Hampshire. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Hamidullah Qadri - was the pick of the Kent attack against Hampshire. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kent won the toss and elected to field but that was seemingly as good as it got for the hosts as Hampshire posted an impressive 396-5.

It had been a relatively subdued start from the visitors, who lost opener Aneurin Donald, bowled by Nathan Gilchrist (2-65) in the ninth over.

But centurions Nick Gubbins and Tom Prest then came together to put on a stunning partnership of 207 in less than 30 overs to take Hampshire to 256-1 after 37 overs.

Skipper Gubbins’ ton featured 11 fours in a 107-ball 117 as he took advantage of a missed stumping by Ollie Robinson when in the forties before Hamidullah Qadri finally got his man.

It was one of two wickets in the over for Qadri, the pick of Kent’s attack despite his figures taking a dent late on. Qadri finished with 2-72 but conceded just 35 in his first seven overs, underlining the carnage caused at the death by Hampshire.

He also had Ben Brown caught by substitute fielder George Ealham at backward point for two as the visitors reached 260-3 after 38 overs.

They pressed the accelerator button again as teenager Prest was particularly savage on Kent’s wayward attack, who didn’t enjoy the Beckenham sunshine.

Prest’s hundred came up in 99 balls and he advanced to 181 before being dismissed in the final over by Gilchrist - another catch for Ealham at long-on - from just 138 balls.

Toby Albert made a swashbuckling 35, putting on 106 in less than nine overs with Prest, before he attempted a reverse hit to Navdeep Saini and was trapped in front.

The last 10 overs yielded 118 runs despite Saini’s (1-71) final two overs going for just 13 runs. No balls were again a problem, Kent giving up eight no balls and 30 extras in total.

Matt Quinn (0-65 in seven overs) was the most expensive of the Kent attack and Prest took a particular liking to the left-arm spin of George Linde, whose five overs went for 40 runs.

That meant Kent required 397 for victory. They lost opener Ben Compton for 24 in the ninth over to leave them 45-1 but Tawanda Muyeye and Robinson advanced the score to 86 after 15 overs before the former was dismissed to spark a flurry of wickets.

Muyeye, who had hit one impressive six, went for 40 when he edged Jack Campbell behind and he was quickly followed by Robinson who, having survived a dropped chance on one, made 22 before he skied Campbell and was caught by Scott Currie at mid-wicket.

Skipper Alex Blake took Kent past the hundred mark with a six but they were 102-4 in the 19th over when Joey Evison, after four dot balls, top edged a sweep and was well caught by the backpedalling Ian Holland for one.

It was clearly Prest’s day as he took a wicket with just his second delivery, enticing Linde to pick out Holland deep in the off side for three.

Blake was not going down without a fight, hitting another towering six straight down the ground off Prest. Grant Stewart, playing only as a batsman at seven due to injury, joined in on the fun with a straight six off Prest’s next over but then skied Felix Organ for 15, Donald taking a fine tumbling catch, leaving Kent 148-6 at the midway stage.

Kent's only resistance was coming in the form of Blake, who reached his half-century from 28 balls with one four and four sixes. He hit another maximum off Currie before succumbing for 62 in 43 balls to the impressive Organ (3-39 in 10 overs), another fine catch in the deep by Donald.

Qadri was caught for seven, but Gilchrist ensured Kent went beyond 200 with a flurry of boundaries. Quinn holed out for eight and Kent's defeat was confirmed when Gilchrist was removed by Campbell for 33 - his highest List A score.

“We’ve no regrets," said Blake, reflecting on the decision to field first. "We spoke about it last night and today and we said it’s a chasing ground. A lot of games have been won here chasing and it’s generally a belting wicket so we were happy to try and chase. Unfortunately they got quite a big score so it didn’t quite go to plan.

“We chased 340ish at Worcester and then we batted first at Cardiff and they chased us down, so in the last two games we’ve played the team chasing has won and that’s the plan we went with.

"We didn’t get wickets early on, they put on some big partnerships and we couldn’t really defend. I think our bowlers bowled pretty well, but I don’t think we fielded great, I think there’s room for improvement. We’ve got to try and take wickets, that stems the flow of runs and unfortunately we didn’t in this game.

“We kept losing wickets, it’s tough when you’ve got to go at eight an over from ball one. With a couple of good overs it creeps up to ten. Unfortunately a few things have got to go your way and we just kept losing wickets.

“I’ve always enjoyed batting here and should have got myself a not out, but we were losing wickets at the other end. I got out playing a shot I play quite well and unfortunately I couldn’t achieve the unachievable, but there are still plenty more games to go.”

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