Daniel Bell-Drummond and Darren Stevens see Kent to 168-8 and victory over Sussex to set up a final with their favourite foes Somerset.
Bell-Drummond’s (DBD) 82 makes him the sixth highest T20 finals day scorer in the competition’s history. Sussex’s leading T20 runscorer of all time, Luke Wright holds the top score (92 v Somerset in 2018) and opened in the same game, notching just 10 before unfortunately playing on off Matt Milnes.
DBD scored 53 in the quarter-final over Warwickshire (at Canterbury not Edgbaston) and has history of great knocks against Somerset in this format, so will definitely be the key Kent batter in the final.
Only at finals day can the classiest of stroke play from DBD be occurring simultaneously with thousands of grown adults shouting Ronald McDonald, as he sinks a fourth pint in a row at the demand of the paying public.
Darren Stevens, such a favourite that the same inebriated thousands in the Hollies Stand shout and scream his name with every boundary or shot he plays. Former winner of the T20 Cup with Leicestershire, of course – that was back in 2004 when Archie Lenham was just two weeks old. The former is 45 and the latter 17, making them the oldest and youngest ever Finals Day players.
After his 47* off 28 Stevens then took a wicket with his first ball!
This was after Fredrick Klaassen’s 2-9 off his first two set the standard, and Wright had ricocheted off most of his body and bat onto the stumps off Milnes. When Ravi Bopara was caught by Sam Billings off Qais Ahmad for 22 it was 57-5, needing 112 off just 11.2 (nice symmetry!)
George Garton’s earlier, impressive 2-24 shows why he’s in demand for T20 franchise teams across the globe, starting with Royal Challengers Bangalore as the Indian Premier League recommences tomorrow. The 24-year-old has Sussex’ most wickets in the Blast this season; 14 before today at one every 13 balls. He also has the potential and the desire to be a genuine allrounder. He reached 41 off 23 before cutting to Stewart at point off Milnes.
His innings gave Sussex a glimmer but even after Somerset’s revival there was little belief they could win from 119-7, still needing 50 off 4.2 with just Will Beer and the tail to support Chris Jordan.
Jordan got to 13 before Klassen earned his third, caught at long on by that man Bell-Drummond (his second catch). Sussex soon were all out for 147.
Quite rightly, as some would say, the top two teams of the South Group ended up meeting in the final. We knew before today that there would be no Northern presence, as all four lost their quarter-finals.
Kent lead 12-6 in their head to head with Somerset in T20 matches but after THAT semi-final comeback, who knows?