Published: 22:29, 09 July 2021
| Updated: 12:00, 10 July 2021
Kent Spitfires strolled to a stunning nine-wicket victory at The Oval and qualified for the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast on Friday night.
Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond went on to a 37-ball 53 not out after he and Joe Denly (31) put on 64 in eight overs for the first wicket to set up a comfortable chase of Surrey's 128-7 that ended with 4.3 overs to spare.
Ollie Robinson also struck a breezy unbeaten 45 from 30 balls and Kent have now won eight of their 12 group matches while Surrey look unlikely to qualify for a quarter-final place.
Jordan Clark managed an unbeaten 37 from 31 balls, and there were brief flurries from Jamie Overton and Tim David as 86 came from the last ten overs, but otherwise Surrey’s batsmen could not handle an impressive Kent attack on a sluggish surface.
Adam Milne, the New Zealand fast bowler, was outstanding both with the new ball and in the final overs to take 2-13.
Surrey, put in, were in trouble even before the end of the six-over powerplay, in which they failed to hit a single boundary while staggering to 17-3.
Jamie Smith (1) top-edged a pull at Milne to extra cover in the second over, Ben Geddes fell for eight when pulling Fred Klaassen to deep mid-wicket and Laurie Evans departed for six, skying Matt Milnes’ first ball to mid-wicket at the start of the sixth over.
After nine overs Surrey had only reached 28-3 but then came three successive boundaries - the first of the innings - as Rory Burns first missed with a reverse swipe at Jack Leaning’s off spin, the ball running away for four byes, before connecting with two more reverse sweeps to ironic cheers from a 5,000 crowd.
Qais Ahmed bowled four overs of leg spin for 22 runs, although driven straight for six by David, and Surrey slumped further to 59-5 in an extraordinary 12th over.
David, a big-hitting 25-year-old Australian-raised Singapore international signed for two Blast games in place of injured New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson, clubbed Darren Stevens for a big six before being brilliantly held by a diving Jordan Cox at long on for 20 from the next ball.
Stevens found himself on a hat-trick when Burns (19) was then magnificently caught left-handed by Klaassen, flinging himself to intercept a sliced cut at short third man, but Overton defended his first ball before swinging Stevens for the first of his three sixes in the veteran all-rounder’s second over.
Klaassen and Denly were hit for Overton’s other sixes before he mishit a knee-high full toss from Milne to extra cover to go for 23 in the 17th over.
Kent head coach Matt Walker said: "You don’t often get a perfect performance in this format but that was as perfect as you can get tonight.
"We didn’t concede a boundary until the tenth over and then kept our foot on their neck to restrict them to 128.
"Every bowler executed their skills well and were backed up by some outstanding fielding. There were a couple of world-class catches, which helped to hammer home our advantage.
"Then to bat like that, when chasing a relatively small total can be tricky on a used pitch, was really pleasing. Daniel, Joe and Ollie were all superb."