A Jordan Cox inspired Kent outplay Somerset again in what’s becoming a serious rivalry in recent T20 Blast cricket.
There was a bit of needle in this one too; international teammates Sam Billings and Craig Overton really going at each other when frankly the game was already lost for Somerset by the time Somerset’s bowling spearhead came out to bat.
There were no lower-order heroics tonight for Somerset as Cox’s 94 saw the away side rack up 202-7 about par on the fastest scoring professional T20 ground in the world.
Second versus bottom meant little as tonight marks the halfway point of the T20 Blast group stage for Somerset.
A replay of the T20 Blast final of last September that will forever be remembered for that Jordan Cox catch…and his runs…yes he was the Kent hero again tonight.
Bell-Drummond’s one-handed catch above his head a few years prior is another that sticks in my memory of games when Kent have often prevailed. But the past two seasons Sky cameras in Canterbury have favoured Somerset in convincing victories (even against the bizarre smog/fog too!)
Joe Denly missed out with a migraine last game but came back in tonight, Kent’s highest T20 run scorer in history, and is now 50 runs away from 4,000 T20 runs for the county.
Craig Overton released from England duty, in for Lewis Goldsworthy, took two in two in the fourth over; Tawanda Muyeye who had only made his first-team T20 debut at Chelmsford on Tuesday followed by the pinch hitter Grant Stewart-promoted up to number three for tonight.
Officially a sell out with the final 40 tickets sold on the gate this evening, the home crowd went a bit flat in the middle overs as Denly and Cox took the score to 105-3 after 11.5 overs.
Somerset showed some uncharacteristically poor fielding, maybe a little fatigue from the late night away win last night?
After Denly was Overton’s third victim for 41, Billings and Alex Blake fell cheaply, but George Linde helped Cox take Somerset’s death bowlers to the cleaners.
Josh Davey and Ben Green’s final overs in the 18th and 19th respectively were particularly expensive going for 26 and 22 apiece. Potassium-fuelled Pete Siddle brought it back in the last.
Though it could have been more if Cox had not run himself out with four balls to go coming back for a cheeky second that he had been allowed previously; Gregory fumbling at long on.
Somerset’s batting never got going, none of the fabled top three fired, Rossouw still hit two sixes in his 13 off nine balls mind. Tom Abell scored 43 off 37 with a couple of sumptuous reverse sweeps to the boundary, but never had enough support and he too struggled when the impressive Fred Klaassen came back in the middle-overs.
He was the standout in a bowling attack which saw all six members take wickets. Qais Ahmad was the only bowler Somerset seemed comfortable whacking to the boundary regularly – his three overs went for 38.
Ben Green reached 40 off 28 balls thanks to some late lusty blows, but the run rate seemed to keep climbing, even after stand-in umpire Hasan Adnan gave Jack Leaning’s boundary flick-back catch as a six. Green stood his ground. This did not go down well with Billings – no yellow card for dissent, but had to be pretty close – perhaps as close as Leaning’s foot was to the boundary rope – hard to tell even with video replay.
Anyway, it mattered little in the end, Kent got through their overs just in time -i n truth even three lots of penalty runs for a slow over rate would not have been enough for Somerset tonight. Well played Kent. Winners by 32 runs.
Somerset return to Championship action on Sunday; high-flying Surrey the visitors for an 11am start – tickets available or can watch and listen to live commentary on the live stream (accessible on Somerset CCC website & YouTube channel!)