Match Report – KENT vs SOM South Group, June 07, 2024

Kent 198 for 6 (Billings 106*) beat Somerset 197 for 6 (Smeed 68, Kohler-Cadmore 42) by four wickets

A superb century by Sam Billings helped the Kent Spitfires to a four-wicket win over Somerset with four balls to spare, in a Vitality Blast thriller at Canterbury.

Kent were reeling on 37 for four in the fifth over but they were rescued a sensational innings by Billings, who hit a career best 106 from 66 balls, with 14 fours and two sixes.

The Spitfires’ skipper fell in the 19th, but with Kent needing just six from the last six balls, Joey Evison hit the winning runs to complete a brilliant comeback for the hosts, who closed on 198 for six.

Earlier Will Smeed blasted 68 from 30 balls as Somerset posted 197 for six, while Tom Kohler-Cadmore was the next highest scorer with 42. Having shipped 95 in eight overs for the opening wicket, Kent reined the visitors in slightly as Matt Parkinson took two for 36 and Zak Crawley took four catches, equalling Kent’s Blast record.

Somerset were asked to bat and Smeed rode his luck at times, but he creamed Evison for 18 in the eighth over, only to hit the final delivery to Tawanda Muyeye on the boundary.

Tom Banton went three balls later for 26, when Marcus O’Riordan saw him charge down the wicket and had him stumped off a wide. Parkinson then got Tom Abell for 12 when Crawley covered 40 yards to reel him in at deep midwicket.

Sean Dickson made 26 from 18 before he skyed Parkinson to Crawley, who then took his third catch when Kohler-Cadmore miscued a full toss from Beyers Swanepoel.

Lewis Gregory went for 12 when he hit Bartlett’s penultimate ball of the innings to Crawley on the cow corner boundary, but Crawley then hit the first ball of the Kent reply, from Overton, straight to Roelof van der Merwe.

Overton then bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond for three and took a brilliant diving catch off Sonny Baker to remove Muyeye for 15 before O’Riordan went for 14, when he hit Jake Ball straight to Smeed at fly slip.

Billings and Denly dragged Kent back into it with an exhilarating stand of 109, before the latter went for 32 when he tried to ramp Ball and was caught by Baker.

The 18th over proved pivotal. Billings smeared Gregory through cover to reach his century and he celebrated by leaping in the air before doing a baby-rocking motion. Evison then hit successive fours to leave Kent needing just 10 from the last two.

When Billings was caught by Dickson on the boundary Kent still needed six off the last over, but Evison cut van der Merwe’s first ball for four and scrambled two off the next ball to complete a stunning win.


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