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NatWest T20 Blast – Kent Thrash Hampshire by 8 Runs as Sam Billings Shines

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NatWest T20 Blast – Kent Thrash Hampshire by 8 Runs as Sam Billings Shines

June 09
16:22 2016

natwest t20 blastNew Delhi, Thursday, June 9 – Kent and Hampshire of the South Group contested each other yesterday in a match of NatWest t20 Blast, 2016, which started from May 20. The teams played at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, making attempt to put best foot forward required to rise as a victor in the end and earn crucial points.

Kent Playing XI captain Sam Northeast looked for a win and his boys did not disappoint him. Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Tom Latham, wicket keeper Sam Billings, Darren Stevens, Alex Blake, Matt Coles, James Tredwell, David Griffiths and Ivan Thomas were the parts of team while Sean Dickson, Imran Qayyum, Fabian Cowdrey, Sam Weller, Adam Riley, Matt Hunn, Calum Haggett, Mitchell Claydon, Adam Ball, Adam Rouse and Hugh Bernard were the players on bench.

Hampshire squad was captained by Sean Ervine and included Lewis McManus, Jimmy Adams, Adam Wheater, Will Smith, Darren Sammy, Gareth Berg, Gareth Andrew, Tino Best, Shahid Afridi and Liam Dawson. The players in extras were Mason Crane, Fidel Edwards, Reece Topley, Andre Adams, Chris Wood, Sean Terry, Owais Shah, James Tomlinson, Tom Alsop, Ryan McLaren, Michael Carberry and James Vince. Hampshire won the toss and decided to bowl first given that objective was to restrict opponents from totaling humongous runs but they failed to a great extent as Kent scored 193 runs for the loss of three wickets in 20 overs. It was a wonderful day of T20 cricket and Kent held their guts to emerge victorious at last as the rivals were giving all possible efforts to chase the target.

Opening duo Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly gave Kent a good start, which was necessary to gain ground in the game. The two were hitting shots with ease, easily shifting pressure on Hampshire. With a strike rate of 155.26, Joe Denly scored 59 runs in 38 balls. Four 4s and three 6s were highlights of his play. The batsman pocketed fifty with confidence, emerging a threat for Hampshire bowling attack. He lost his wicket when bowling change in the 11th over did a trick. Best bowled a delivery that gave his teammates enjoy a breakthrough. Dawson did not make a mistake to take a catch, which brought some hope that Hampshire still have chance in the game. Next wicket fell in the form of the 22-year-old opening batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond in the same over. The young man hit 35 runs off 26 balls, together with three 4s.

Sam Northeast, the right-handed batsman and a right-arm off spinner, and Sam Billings did a great partnership, helping Kent stay on a safer side as good scores do matter when team batting first has to defend it. With a couple of 4s and a six, the Kent captain scored 38 runs playing 27 deliveries. Andrew was the man who dismissed him. Sam Billings was not out 55 runs that came in just 30 balls. His innings was embedded with three 4s and two sixes. Alex Blake was not out at a zero since he did not get to face any ball thanks to skipper’s dismissal at a time when only one ball was to be bowled.  In the mandatory powerplay, 52 runs were scored by Kent.

When it came to chasing the target, Hampshire did not have an ideal opening as Jimmy Adams was out by Darren Stevens at a score of 5, which comprised a four, and Lewis McManus was run out Denly & Latham at 6 runs (4 x 1).  Adam Wheater, the wicket keeper batsman fell short to Thomas at 19 runs, which consisted of two 4s and a six. Sean Ervine was run out by Griffiths and Tredwell’s joint efforts but post dismissal of Liam Dawson at 6 runs and Will Smith at 9 runs. Left-handed batsman and skipper of Hampshire was highest scorer from his team, pocketing  56 runs off 34 deliveries, which included four 4s and three biggies with a strike rate of 164.71. Shahid Afridi seemed to snatch victory from the rivals. This thought looked prominent thanks to his 35-run knock off 17 balls. Four major sixes helped the squad come much near to the target. Griffiths bowled a ball that gave him Afridi’s wicket as a result of on the dot catch by Darren Stevens.

Darren Sammy was impressive too as he played a knock of 30 runs off 17 balls, along with a four and three sixes. Hampshire required quick scoring from the batsman at the other end but losing Gareth Andrew, who was run out by Matt Coles, at a score of 5 in the 19th over added pressure on Hampshire. He was trying to lift the pressure up with a four but three dot balls did not let him go far. Hampshire needed 14 runs in the last over to win the match which would have been possible had Sammy been on the crease. Sam Billings was quick to run for pouching the ball in Griffiths’ over.  Gareth Berg and Tino Best were present as the batting pair on the pitch but could take their team close to success apart from playing not out innings of 4 runs and 1 run, respectively. Kent won by 8 runs that made them earn two crucial points to rank up in the points table of their group, which has Glamorgan as the table toppers.  Player of the Match award went to Sam Billings.

With a total of 18 teams, a lot is to change in the score chart of both South and North groups. In a contest today, Surrey will play against Hampshire at Kennington Oval in London. Hampshire will eye a win to rise beating the odds. The team may be same as it was yesterday, while Surrey will have Gary Wilson, David Balcombe, James Burke, Tom Curran, Jade Dernbach, Ben Foakes, Stuart Meaker, Jason Roy, Dominic Sibley, Zafar Ansari, Gareth Batty, Mark Footitt, Mathew Pillans, Conor McKerr, Ravi Rampaul, Kumar Sangakkara, Rory Burns, Steven Davies, Matt Dunn, Arun Harinath, Freddie van den Bergh, Sam Curran, Sam Curran, Azhar Mahmood and Dwayne Bravo. Eyes of cricket fans are struck on the outcome at the end of the day that will make one point clear about who takes a step ahead and who remains at the same spot.

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