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Kent Spitfires beat Somerset Sabres by seven wickets in rain-hit NatWest T20 Blast South Group game

Kent Spitfires recorded their first win in four NatWest T20 Blast matches when they beat Somerset by seven wickets in a rain-affected game at Canterbury on Thursday.

After the visitors had compiled a challenging total of 197-6 from their 20 overs Kent were left to chase a rain revised target of 181 from 18 which they reached with nine balls to spare, led by skipper Sam Northeast's superb unbeaten 54.

Openers Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond had earlier given the Kent reply a terrific start racing to 77 after the six over powerplay when the rain forced the players off just before 9pm.

Sam Northeast Picture: Andy Jones
Sam Northeast Picture: Andy Jones

They re-emerged 38 minutes later at which point Kent's target had been revised to 181 from 18 overs, leaving them 72 balls to chase the remaining 104.

Only four runs came from the first over after the resumption, bowled by Roelof van der Merwe, and in the next with the total on 82, Denly was bowled by legspinner Max Waller for 46, made from 24 balls with eight boundaries.

Bell-Drummond was also unable to pick up where he had left off before the break holing out to van der Merwe at long on in Waller's next over for 39 (26 balls, six fours) to leave Kent 93-2.

With only 18 runs coming from the first four overs after the restart the odds looked to be stacking up against Kent but skipper Northeast began to find his range, and at last boundaries started to come.

He and Alex Blake took 36 from two overs and had added 59 when Blake was bowled for 20 by Gregory, at which stage 29 were required from 20 balls.

Northeast though went from strength from strength bringing up his half-century with a six and finishing undefeated on 54, made from 27 balls with five fours and three sixes.

Somerset had scored 204 to beat Hampshire the night before but, after choosing to bat first, they lost Lewis Gregory to the fifth ball of Jimmy Neesham's opening over when he skied an attempted pull to Milne at mid on to go for one.

That made it 6-1 but Steve Davies and skipper Jim Allenby then despatched the ball to all parts as Somerset finished the powerplay on 73-1, helped by a seven in the third over, bowled by Milne, after an overthrow by keeper Sam Billings.

The partnership was ended when, without addition to the score Allenby (25) top edged Qayyum's second ball trying to sweep and Billings got underneath the ball to take a comfortable catch.

Davies swept to his fifty in just 23 balls to see the Sabres to 98-2 at the halfway stage but with just one run one added spin worked the trick again as the left-hander hit Joe Denly's third ball to Daniel Bell-Drummond on the deep midwicket boundary to go for 62 (32 balls, seven fours, two sixes).

Denly should have had two in two but off the next ball, Alex Blake, haring in from long on, unusually grounded a catch offered by Johan Myburgh who went on to make Kent pay.

The return of Matt Coles (1-38 in four) accounted for James Hildreth (11) who was caught behind driving with the score at 129 in the 14th over, but Myburgh was just getting into his stride hitting Qayyum (1-47 from four overs) for three sixes in his final over, the 15th.

Mitch Claydon Picture: Andy Jones
Mitch Claydon Picture: Andy Jones

The right-hander went to his half-century in the next over, from just 27 balls with five sixes, and was finally out for 64 from 35 balls in the 18th over when he top edged a hook off Claydon to Billings.

Peter Trego, dropped at deep square by Gidman off Neesham in the final over, was run out for 26 (24 balls) off the final ball when he failed to beat Bell-Drummond's throw from the boundary.

Claydon (1-25 from four overs) was the pick of the Kent attack, while Neesham took 1-24 from three, and Denly 1-16 from two.

Kent's victory continued their impressive winning streak against the Sabres who they have now beaten seven times in a row since June, 2011 and also re-ignited their bid for a top four spot in the South Group.

However, there are fresh concerns about Kiwi paceman Adam Milne's thigh problem which forced him off after bowling just two overs - which went for 34 - on his return to the side.

Kent, who are up to fifth, return to action at The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence on Sunday when they host Glamorgan (start 3pm).

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