Gareth Roderick’s magnificent century helped Gloucestershire to a comfortable six-wicket victory over struggling Kent.
The 27-year-old batted quite beautifully as he helped his side chase down a target of 283 inside 47 overs.
It was his second List A ton, with his first against Leicestershire coming all the way back in 2015 and helped the West Country side get their One-Day Cup campaign back on track after their defeat to Middlesex.
For Kent, it was a fourth successive defeat in this competition, and last season’s finalist’s hopes of reaching Lord’s are already over.
Gloucestershire won the toss and put Kent into bat and were rewarded in the second over when Ryan Higgins trapped Sean Dickson LBW.
That brought Joe Denly to the crease, who was playing his first game for Kent this season after returning from the IPL.
Denly, along with Zak Crawley, nullified the Gloucestershire attack, adding 103 in 22 overs. The England international contributed 56 of those runs, and was pleasing on the eye throughout, especially when driving the ball to the boundary.
This until he edged David Payne behind to Gareth Roderick, just as it felt he was looking to accelerate.
Heino Kuhn then came and went for a brisk 24, Roderick again involved in the dismissal, running out the South African after he had looked to scamper through for a quick single.
Crawley remained and the Spitfires were on course for a good score with 14 overs left of their innings, but three wickets in four overs stalled their momentum.
Benny Howell – who finished with figures of 2-39 – dismissed both Ollie Robinson and Alex Blake while Crawley fell for 85 in between the all-rounders two wickets, bowled by Tom Smith.
That left Kent reeling at 198-6 and in danger of being bowled out.
However, Adam Rouse added some crucial impetus to their effort, smashing 45 from just 28 deliveries.
The wicketkeeper took a liking to Chris Liddle, who finished with figures of 0-93 from his 10 overs, as Kent reached a total of 282-8.
In reply, the Gloucestershire openers started well, putting on 72 for the first wicket.
Kent would have to wait until the 17th over to make their first inroad into their opponents batting order.
Imran Quayyum enticed an expansive shot from George Hankins, who missed the ball and was stumped by behind by Rouse.
Hankins’ opening partner, Chris Dent, fell soon after, another man falling foul to an aggressive shot. The Gloucestershire captain was caught in the deep off Blake for 41.
The two wickets had opened the door, but it was slammed firmly shut by centurion Roderick and James Bracey, who batted quite beautifully in a partnership of 138, which all but sealed the victory for their team.
The pair were aggressive but did not play any reckless shots as Kent’s attack rarely threatened a breakthrough and it came as a surprise when Bracey fell to Claydon for 67 with 55 still needed.
Howell was then dismissed for a spritely 11, but Roderick pressed on, driving home Gloucestershire’s advantage, reaching his hundred off just 80 balls as the home side completed an excellent win.