Published: 21:14, 22 June 2021
| Updated: 21:26, 22 June 2021
Kent Spitfires' T20 Blast campaign suffered a setback after a comprehensive eight-wicket loss at Bristol on Tuesday evening.
Spitfires struggled to 147-7 after a bright start quickly faded and Gloucestershire made light work of the total to win with more than six overs to spare.
It was the home side's third win of the competition and just a second defeat for Kent, who remain top of the South Group.
However, Gloucestershire's joy was tempered by an ankle injury to Ian Cockbain, who retired hurt on 30, but the game was so easily won and their net run-rate was given a big boost.
Miles Hammond gave the chase the perfect start, striking the first two balls from Joe Denly over cover for four and then the first two of the fourth over for six over square leg. But he miscued another pull and was caught for 33, his best return in the tournament so far.
Chris Dent also swung a mighty six over deep square in the second over and lifted four more over mid-on before helping take 21 from the final over of the powerplay bowled by Grant Stewart.
He began with a six over long-on before swinging six more over midwicket from a no-ball. He chopped four past point and at the end of the powerplay, Gloucestershire were 75 for one and the required rate was only five-an-over.
Dent fell for 37 in 21 balls before Glenn Phillips saw his side home with an unbeaten 41 from 25 balls, finishing the game with a switch-hit six.
Kent, having been sent in, were given a bright start with Zak Crawley’s impressive 43 from 29 balls. He flicked Dan Worrall over mid-wicket for six in the opening over and clubbed another maximum in the fifth over.
He targeted the short leg-side boundary again off Benny Howell for a third six before a top-edge, on 34, landed between two converging fielders. He survived to strike Tom Smith down the ground for four but top-edged a sweep to Worrall at deep square.
Crawley dominated the opening 10 overs where Kent made 74-3. Daniel Bell-Drummond tried to paddle-sweep Josh Shaw and lost his off stump for 11 and Denly, becalmed on five from nine balls, slapped Howell straight to extra cover.
Jordan Cox played a most-necessary late hand with 36 in 28 balls, including scooping Worrall over deep-square for six, but the target proved well short.
Crawley said: "They played really well to be fair to them and showed us how to play on this type of wicket.
"In the southern group you get a lot of good wickets but this was a bit slow and we have to be a bit better on this type of wicket."