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Kent Spitfires (46-5) lose to Somerset (55-6) by 14 runs (DL method) in Vitality Blast in Taunton

Kent Spitfires were on the wrong end of a five-over “lottery” against Somerset in the Vitality Blast on Friday night in Taunton.

Somerset reached 55-6 from their five overs, leaving Kent to chase a revised 61 for victory but the Spitfires could only muster 46-5 in reply.

Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kent head coach Matt Walker said: “It's a bit of a frustrating night all round if I'm honest.

“Five-over games are never ideal and tend to be a bit of a lottery. I thought we probably allowed them a few too many boundaries.

“That said, we still felt we could chase 61 to win on that pitch. But Riley Meredith bowled well up top for them and we didn't make the best of starts.

“It's all about gaining momentum and putting the opposition under pressure in this format, and we weren't able to do that.”

Kent skipper Sam Billings won the toss and elected to field with a debut for overseas player Charlie Stobo and a first T20 outing for Nathan Gilchrist.

Xavier Bartlett conceded 11 runs to openers Tom Banton and Will Smeed in the first over and then the rain intervened, forcing the players to run for the cover of the pavilion at 6.35pm.

Thereafter, umpires Ian Blackwell and Mark Newell staged a couple of inspections and the Taunton ground staff twice attempted to remove the covers, only for the wet weather to return on each occasion and prevent a quick resumption. When the elements finally relented and mopping-up operations were completed, it was announced that play would resume at 9.02pm with the game reduced to five overs-a-side.

Kent made the best possible start upon the resumption, Stobo having Smeed caught at deep mid-on with his first ball. Tom Kohler-Cadmore (24 off nine balls) promptly made amends, smashing a six and four off the first two deliveries he faced as Somerset plundered 13 runs to finish the second over on 24-1.

Kohler-Cadmore pulled Stewart for another four in the third over, but then Banton hit him straight to cover and departed for seven with the score on 31. Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory hit the ground running, driving his first ball for a sumptuous four as the home side advanced to 37-2.

Gilchrist's first delivery saw Kohler-Cadmore hit him over mid-wicket for an enormous six. Gregory drove the third ball of the over back down the ground for four, only to then hole out in the deep, while Kohler-Cadmore departed in similar fashion as Gilchrist (2-11) held his nerve to reduce the home side to 49-4 at the end of the fourth.

Ben Green and Tom Abell were run out in the final over as Kent turned the screw, Bartlett conceding just six runs as Somerset finished up on 55-6.

The Spitfires made a poor start to their reply, Zak Crawley being run out by substitute fielder Kasey Aldridge and Daniel Bell-Drummond top-edging a pull shot to short square leg as Riley Meredith (1-15) reduced the visitors to 9-2.

Billings opened up with a pulled four at the expense of Jake Ball (1-19), but the seamer recovered well, persuading Marcus O'Riordan to present Abell with a straightforward catch at long-off in an over that cost just nine runs. Kent's frustration knew no bounds when Meredith restricted them to a mere seven runs in the third over, his nagging accuracy leaving the visitors needing to score an unlikely 36 off 12 balls.

Big-hitting Billings opened his shoulders and helped himself to a brace of fours off Ball in the fourth, only to then take on Abell's arm and be run out for a 10-ball 16 attempting a second run.

Kent required 26 runs off the final over, but Green demonstrated a cool head to frustrate the best efforts of Joe Denly (15 not out) and Stewart as he conceded just 11 runs.

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