Published: 00:00, 30 July 2014
| Updated: 13:18, 30 July 2014
Kent Spitfires started their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign with a stunning last over, two-wicket win against Group B rivals Durham in Canterbury on Tuesday.
Young all-rounder Calum Haggett helped Kent across the line with a limited overs career-best 36 off 25 balls, including two sixes and three fours, as Kent chased down 271-7 with four balls to spare.
Haggett, whose previous best in the one day arena was just two, said: “I had to be positive in the situation we found ourselves in. I seem to play my best cricket in times like that.
“Sam (Billings) was playing so well and I knew that I had to bat around him and let him carry on the way he was going – there was always hope with Sam batting as well as he was."
“We must now back it up against Somerset (on Thursday) and keep that winning momentum going.”
Earlier, Kent were struggling on 108-5 before Fabian Cowdrey (28) and Sam Billings (64) started a stunning fightback.
The pair shared a 46-run partnership before Cowdrey perished, caught by diving Durham wicketkeeper Phil Mustard off former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood (2-42).
That brought Haggett to the crease but it was far from game over. He and Billings took the attack to Durham is sensational style, blasting 49 off only 4.1 overs before Chris Rushworth (3-59) ended Billings’ thrilling innings with the total on 203-7. The young wicketkeeper hit one six and six fours in his 54-ball stay.
Haggett, who had earlier taken 2-54, including the wicket of England all-rounder Ben Stokes (50), then added 42 in 6.3 overs with James Tredwell (38 not out) before he was bowled by Aussie John Hastings (1-46).
Kent still needed 27 off 4.3 overs when Mitch Claydon (7 not out) arrived at the crease but there was no panic as he and the England one-day spinner completed the unlikely victory in style after Tredwell hit Hastings for four off the second ball of the final over.
Earlier, Calum MacLeod top scored with 94 for Durham before becoming one of Doug Bollinger’s scalps (2-52).
Kent captain Rob Key led the run chase with 47 while Sam Northeast (10), Brendan Nash (4), Darren Stevens (22) and Alex Blake (4) all fell cheaply before the lower order saved the day.