Match Report: Kent Spitfires v Essex Eagles


Kent Spitfires v Essex Eagles

Vitality Blast
The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury


Team News:

Kent Spitfires: Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond (c), Joe Denly, Alex Blake, Jack Leaning, Jordan Cox (wk), Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart, Qais Ahmad, Matthew Milnes, Fredrick Klaassen.

Essex Eagles: Adam Wheater (wk), Will Buttleman, Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Jimmy Neesham, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Walter, Simon Harmer (c), Aron Nijjar, Jack Plom, Sam Cook.

Match Details:

Umpires: Paul Pollard & Benjamin Debenham.
Toss: Essex, who elected to field.
Result: Kent Spitfires won by 67 runs.

Match Highlights: Coming Soon

Match Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Match Report:

Essex Eagles suffered a heavy Vitality Blast defeat when Kent Spitfires won by 67 runs at Canterbury.

The Spitfires raced to their highest-ever T20 total posting 236-3 after Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley ensured an afternoon of torment for the Eagles attack at The St. Lawrence Ground

The visitors were then bowled out in 19.2 overs for 169 with Adam Wheater’s 46 being the biggest contribution.

Rain in the morning had left the ground, already wet from a dousing on Friday, damp forcing umpires Ben Debenham and Paul Pollard to delay the start by an hour.

The Eagles won the toss and elected to field having made two changes from the side beaten by Sussex Sharks last Tuesday. Dan Lawrence, back from England Test duty, and Wheater having recovered from a side strain came into the side with Tom Westley and Jamie Porter standing down.

Bell-Drummond and Crawley put the visitor’s bowlers to the sword with an opening partnership of 145 as they exploited the short boundaries to the full.

Both batsmen drove cleanly and powerfully soon building the momentum and by the completion of the powerplay, they had put 71 runs on the board with 32 runs coming from a sequence of 10 balls that included 7 boundaries.

Crawley completed a 31-ball half-century and a salvo of sixes saw the addition of 56 from 3 overs at the midpoint of the innings brought their partnership to 143 after 11 overs with Bell-Drummond having also completed his 50 from 25 balls.

Paul Walter ended their fun in the 12th over when Crawley, who had survived a stumping opportunity off Aron Nijjar when still waiting to get off the mark, played across the line and was leg before having made 69 that included 4 sixes and 5 fours.

With the total on 173, skipper Bell-Drummond edged Sam Cook behind to end his innings of 88 that boasted 6 sixes and 4 fours.

Joe Denly went quickly, also caught by Adam Wheater off Jack Plom but that brought Jack Leaning in to pepper the Eagles attack. He struck out freely and effectively to post an unbeaten 42 from just 17 balls with 4 maximum blows and a couple of other boundaries as he and Adam Blake added an unbroken 57 in 3.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

The Eagles never looked like challenging the demanding target despite the efforts of opener Wheater who was 4 runs short of a half-century when he holed out to long-on.

Dan Lawrence made 17 but single figure scores from Will Buttleman, Michael Pepper, Jimmy Neesham, Ryan ten Doeschate and Paul Walter reduced the visitors to 106-7 in the twelfth over.

And it was Leaning who was in the thick of the action again taking three of those wickets in six deliveries including a magnificent return catch from a powerful Neesham drive.

Simon Harmer contributed 31 before he was caught by Leaning in the covers but Aron Nijjar recorded his career-best T20 score. He made an unbeaten 27 and combined with Sam Cook in a last-wicket stand worth 32 before Cook, who struck a magnificent straight six off Grant Stewart, was dismissed for 18 and his personal best in this form of the game.

Essex Eagles now travel to The Kia Oval to face Surrey on Monday evening.