Published: 22:05, 09 June 2021
| Updated: 22:35, 09 June 2021
Darren Stevens marked his first T20 game in four years by taking 2-22 in four overs on Wednesday night at Canterbury.
Stevens and new signing James Logan (1-14 in three overs) helped turned the tide in Spitfires' favour as they successfully defended a total of 176-6 against Hampshire Hawks.
Openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly got Kent off to a flying start after they were asked to bat first by Hawks skipper James Vince.
Bell-Drummond hit spinner Liam Dawson's first two balls for six as the Spitfires duo raced to 67-0 in the six-over powerplay. They advanced that score to 86 at the start of the eighth over when Bell-Drummond holed out to Vince from the leg spin of Mason Crane for 42.
Denly, who also hit two maximums in his 23-ball 44, looked back to his best. But he was stumped off Dawson in the next over and when Jack Leaning and Alex Blake both departed cheaply in another Crane (3-23) over, Kent were stumbling at 111-4 in the 12th over.
Ollie Robinson kept his head, however, with 48 from 36 balls and found support from Jordan Cox (23) as Spitfires eventually reached 176-6.
Hampshire openers James Vince and D'Arcy Short put on 50 runs in the powerplay but the latter went to Stevens' first ball - strangled down the leg side - in what was the 45-year-old's 100th T20 Blast wicket.
Former Kent captain Sam Northeast made just six when he failed to loft Logan over long-off and was caught brilliantly low down by Cox.
Another stunning Cox catch, coming in at deep mid-wicket, accounted for Vince (34) as Stevens collected his second wicket with Hampshire 73-3 in the 11th over.
Fred Klaassen went for 17 off his first over but returned to end up with career-best T20 figures and man-of-the-match honours.
Klaassen took a steepling catch off his own bowling to dismiss Dawson for nine, then had James Fuller caught for one by Blake at long on.
Joe Weatherley hit Matt Milnes for six but he was lbw to Klaassen for 37, who then had Ian Holland caught by Cox to finish with figures of 4-32.
Grant Stewart took two wickets in as many balls at the start of the final over - both caught in the deep by the safe hands of Blake - and Hampshire closed their innings well short on 138-9.
Klaassen said: "The team effort was outstanding. I think the fielding, number one, was top drawer.
"We got off to a flyer with the bat in the power play and posted a good score on that wicket.
"My first over went for 17 and I was a bit shellshocked really, but then Logan bowled absolutely brilliantly and we had the Darren Stevens show of course - it was quite remarkable to field during that atmosphere, it went up a few notches I’d say.”