Kent Spitfires were unable to defend their total of 191-5 in going down to South Group leaders Surrey in the Vitality Blast on Friday night at The Oval.
A full-house of 30,000 were treated to 25 sixes in all as Surrey raced to 195-6 with nine balls to spare in reply, posting their 10th win of the summer as Spitfires suffered their 10th defeat.
After being put in, Kent lost Joe Denly for five in the second over when all-rounder Aaron Hardie, Surrey’s overseas player replacement for the injured Kieron Pollard, struck with his third ball for the club to have the former England batsman caught off a skier at extra cover.
But, kick-started initially by Tawanda Muyeye - who later in that over superbly picked up a leg-stump ball and deposited it high over the deep square leg ropes for six - the second wicket stand with Jordan Cox added 75 in 6.3 overs as 24 also came off Hardie’s second over.
Muyeye pulled Hardie for six over long leg and guided the next ball behind backward point for four before Cox hit the Australian for two sixes, first flicked over deep square leg and then hammered to wide mid-wicket.
A risky second run to deep mid-wicket in the eighth over saw Muyeye (41) run out by Laurie Evans’ sprint to the ball, pick up and throw. Cox (54 off 31), after hitting Jamie Overton for three successive fours in the ninth over, fell to a good catch by Jason Roy running back at short third man five overs later, when he skied an attempted big hit at Overton.
By then Jack Leaning had gone for six, caught by keeper Jamie Smith sweeping at Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin and Darren Stevens - back in the side as a batsman - kept Alex Blake company for a while before, on 13, skying Sunil Narine to Roy running around behind the bowler from mid-off.
Blake hit 50 not out off 25 balls, a knock which included sixes over extra cover and square cover off Overton and Reece Topley, respectively, plus another huge blow mowed into the stands over wide mid-wicket off Chris Jordan.
Blake’s most eye-catching stroke was when he skipped down the pitch to Narine, whose first three overs had cost only 12 runs, to smash the mystery spinner a long way over the wide long on boundary for six. It was a stroke which also inspired George Linde to drive Narine back over his head for another six.
Matt Milnes, who finished with the painful figures of 3-0-48-0, felt the full force as Roy in Surrey's quickfire response. Roy took three successive and almost contemptuous leg-side sixes and then a four from his second over, the sixth of the innings, which cost 24.
Roy was bowled for Qais Ahmad (3-28) for 58 off 27 balls in the seventh over to leave Surrey 69-1.
Will Jacks went for 26 - Linde's only wicket - as Surrey reached 91-2 in the 10th over and they advanced to 129-3 in the 13th when Evans went for 26 off just 13 balls.
Curran made 50 in just 30 balls, hitting five sixes, including three when Milnes returned to bowl the 17th over.
Aaron Hardie pulled Grant Stewart for six on debut, before being run out failing to answer Curran’s call for two, and Ahmad later removed both Jamie Overton (6) and Curran in his final over.
But Surrey were never really in any trouble of failing to get home and Smith ended the game by crunching Fred Klaassen over cover for four.
Blake said: “We were going to bowl first if we had won the toss, as we were not sure before the start what a good score would be on that pitch.
"At halfway, we thought we had a decent total but it proved not to be enough!
“There seemed to be sixes being hit regularly out there and Surrey have got power hitters right down the order and so they keep coming at you.
"In the end, they looked as if they could have chased twenty or even thirty more.”
Kent complete their T20 campaign against Glamorgan at Canterbury on Sunday evening (6.30pm).