Match Report | Kent Spitfires v Essex Eagles


    Kent Spitfires v Essex Eagles | NatWest T20 Blast | Beckenham County Ground

Kent Spitfires | Daniel Bell-Drummond (23), Joe Denly (6), Sam Northeast (17)*, Sam Billings (7), Alex Blake (10), Darren Stevens (3), Jimmy Neesham (83), Matt Coles (26), Adam Milne (20), James Tredwell (15), Adam Ball (24).

Essex Eagles | Varun Chopra (6), Dan Lawrence (28), Tom Westley (21), Ravi Bopara (25), Ryan ten Doeschate (27)*, Ashar Zaidi (99), James Foster (7)+, Paul Walter (22), Simon Harmer (21), Mohammad Amir (5), Jamie Porter (44).

Umpires | Richard Kettleborough & Alex Wharf

Toss | Essex Eagles won the toss and elected to bat

Result | Kent Spitfires won by 7 wickets

Listen | Chris Silverwood looks for improvement as Essex lose at Beckenham

Match Report | Essex Eagles suffered defeat in the NatWest T20 Blast to Kent Spitfires at the Beckenham County Ground. Daniel Bell-Drummond hit an unbeaten 90 from 55 balls to steer the hosts to a comfortable seven-wicket win.

Bell-Drummond put his poor championship form behind him by hitting eight fours and four sixes as Kent eased home with nine balls to spare for their first south group win of the campaign. Essex, who lost narrowly in a tight run-chase at home to Surrey on Friday night, were again seriously out-gunned and are left looking for their first victory in two starts.

Responding to the Eagles’ total of 166 for eight, Spitfires made a flying start as Joe Denly clubbed 23 off the second over from Mohammad Amir.

Bell-Drummond raised the first 50 of the match from 32 balls and with six fours and a six as, in his desperation to take a wicket Ryan ten Doeschate, the Essex skipper, made five bowling changes in as many overs.

Eagles’ ploy finally succeeded when Northeast’s miscued reverse sweep against Harmer sailed to backward point to end his stay for 33.

Sam Billings perished for six when edging a sweep leg-side to James Foster from Ashar Zaidi’s first delivery of the game, but Bell-Drummond could not be shifted.

Batting first after winning the toss, Essex Eagles made a reasonable start through openers Varun Chopra and new overseas player, Tamim Iqbal who was making his Essex debut after arriving from Bangladesh on Saturday.

Chopra lifted a huge six over square leg off the third ball of the match from Adam Milne, who conceded another maximum in his next over when Tamim drove straight over the bowler’s head. The Kiwi paceman responded by bowling Tamim (7) with a slower ball as the left-hander advanced to drive.

Eagles mustered 43 for from their powerplay forcing Chopra to up the pace with a risky, leg-side flick for six off Darren Stevens that just cleared the ropes at square leg. The visitors continued to struggle for their timing on this Worsley Bridge Road pitch and lost Tom Westley (13) to a yorker from Jimmy Neesham.

Chopra was just three shy of his 50 when he chipped leg-side against off-spinner James Tredwell to pick out Denly at deep mid-wicket as Tredwell finished his four overs with fine figures of one for 18.

Ten Doeschate posted his side’s 100 with a pulled four against Milne as he and fourth-wicket partner Ravi Bopara – the duo boast almost 350 T20 appearances between them – added 73 in 6.1 overs before falling in successive overs.

Ten Doeschate, with 38 to his name off 18 balls, holed out to deep mid-wicket, then, after scoring 45 from 33 balls, Bopara chipped to long-on to be caught low by Alex Blake and give Milne figures of two for 24.

Three wickets fell in a dramatic final over from Neesham, who sent three packing in successive deliveries. Foster (9) was caught on the ropes at deep cover, Ashar Zaidi was (1) superbly caught and bowled as Neesham ran toward cover then Neesham athletically turned and threw in his follow-through to run out Paul Walter with a direct hit to the non-striker’s end.

Neesham finished with 3-37 leaving Kent to face an asking rate of 8.35 to win their opening Blast south group game for the fourth successive season.

Essex Eagles will be looking to bounceback in four days when Somerset visit The Cloudfm County Ground on Thursday (13 July) in the second of 7 home games in the NatWest T20 Blast competition. Tickets for this match are still available and can be purchased – here.