Published: 22:10, 16 July 2021
| Updated: 22:41, 16 July 2021
Elliot Hooper enjoyed a dream debut as Kent Spitfires routed Middlesex for their lowest ever Vitality Blast score of 80 at Lord’s.
Thee 25-year-old left-armer, one of seven debutants for the visitors because of a Covid-19 outbreak, took 3-24 in the 77-run victory - the hosts failing to reach their previous worst tally of 92 made against Surrey at Lord’s eight years ago.
Fellow debutants Matt Quinn, Safyaan Sharif and Marcus O’Riordan were also among the wickets. Earlier, Harry Finch top scored with 47 and Heino Kuhn made 42 in Kent’s total of 157-8, Blake Cullen taking 4-33.
Another of the Kent new boys, George Munsey, swept the second ball of the match from Mujeeb Ur Rahman for six but departed later in the first over.
Kuhn was then dropped at point by Joe Cracknell from Tom Helm’s first ball and he and skipper Zak Crawley set about the hosts' attack.
Crawley hit three sixes as the fifty came up in the sixth over, but attempting a fourth he was brilliantly caught by Max Holden at deep square - the first of Cullen’s four victims.
Kuhn and Harry Finch continued the onslaught, helped by a succession of mis-fields, adding 65 in 43 balls, meaning the visitors were sitting pretty at 118-2 early in the 13th over.
However, Kuhn holing out in the deep off the excellent Sowter sparked a turning point as runs dried up and wickets tumbled.
Finch tried to hold things together hitting six fours in his 35-ball stay but just 40 runs came from the last eight overs.
Chasing 158, the hosts simply fell to pieces. Sam Robson was yorked by Quinn and when the dangerous Joe Cracknell pulled Harry Podmore straight into the hands of deep square they were 16-2.
And it 20-3 when New Zealand international Daryl Mitchell was trapped lbw by Sharif, who returned 2-10.
Hooper trapped Middlesex debutant Varun Chopra in front before Podmore (2-12) returned to have John Simpson caught at short mid-on.
Holden was caught on the fence to give O’Riordan his first Blast wicket and the procession continued as Hooper scattered Sowter’s stumps.
Helm, Hooper’s other victim, and Mujeeb were the only players other than Chopra to reach double figures as the hosts were bowled out with 21 balls to spare.
Kent spinner Hooper said: "The last week has been manic with getting the call to run drinks at the County Championship match and then today to be told I was going to make my debut at Lord's for Kent - it's a dream come true.
"The new lads have blended together really nicely and it's great to help out the boys who are in isolation and get them the home quarter-final they deserve.
"For everyone else missing out it is really tough, but for me it's an opportunity and when that presents itself, taking it and doing well is the best you can do.
"It's great because I'm getting on a bit now, but as a spinner the older I get the more I'm learning my craft. I feel if I'd been a bit less experienced coming in today I would have just bowled quick, quick, quick into the wicket, whereas at 25 I was able to back myself a little more and chill out."