Match Report: Essex v Kent Spitfires


Essex v Kent Spitfires

Vitality Blast
The Cloud County Ground


Team News:

Essex: Feroze Khushi, Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Robin Das, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Daniel Sams, Will Buttleman (wk), Simon Harmer (c), Shane Snater and Aron Nijjar.

Kent Spitfires: Tawanda Muyeye, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Sam Billings, Jordan Cox, Jack Leaning, George Linde, Joey Evison, Grant Stewart, Wes Agar and Michael Hogan.

Match Details:

Umpires: Ben Debenham & Rob Bailey
Match Referee: Sarah Bartlett
Toss: Kent Spitfires won and elected to bowl
Result: Kent Spitfires won by 7 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights:

Match Reaction: Dan Lawrence

Match Report:

Joe Denly joined James Vince and Luke Wright in passing 5,000 Vitality Blast runs after a breathtaking 32-ball 76 gave Kent Spitfires their fifth straight victory.

Denly thrashed his 39th T20 fifty and overtook Wright to move just behind Vince in the all-time run-scoring list – he is now up 5,050 runs in the competition.

His tubthumping innings, paired with in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond’s fifth fifty of the tournament in a 110 stand, underpinned the Spitfires chasing 184 with nine balls to spare.

Essex were on the receiving end of a thrashing for the second time in a week to loosen their hopes of progressing from the group, despite Dan Lawrence’s 52.

Tawanda Muyeye fell to a top-edged behind in the third over but that only brought Denly to the crease.

Two dots, a single and an edgy guide to the third boundary underestimated the carnage that was about to unfold, which started with two pulled sixes.

A pair of checked cover drives could have added points for aesthetic pleasure, while the force he used to bring up his 18-ball fifty would have knocked out a herd of oxen.

He took his tally to six sixes and six fours before tamely picking out cover for 76.

Amongst Denly’s onslaught, Bell-Drummond was classily ticking through his repertoire in a 35 ball fifty. He now has 476 runs in 11 innings.

Sam Billings was caught at long off, but Bell-Drummond rose to 69 not out and a 12-ball 20 cameo from Jordan Cox got them over the line.

Earlier, Essex were asked to bat and for the fourth time in five games, lost three wickets in the powerplay.

Feroze Khushi skied to mid on where Wes Agar brilliantly caught – after bowler George Linde had visibly prayed – with Michael Pepper and Robin Das leaving the hosts 55 for three after the first six overs.

Paul Walter came, was dropped and was pinned by Jack Leaning, who was celebrating his 50th Kent T20 appearance.

Lawrence was often scratchy but amassed eight fours and a wonderfully-timed six over mid-on in his 33-ball fifty.

He and Matt Critchley had rebuilt with a 57-run stand but both fell within three balls of each other, with Daniel Sams only facing six balls before edging behind.

Just as Essex looked like recording a very poor score, Simon Harmer and Will Buttleman slapped 40 together in 16 balls, with Grant Stewart taking the brunt in a 28-run over.

But that momentum fizzled out with three wickets falling in the final over.