Match Report: Kent Spitfires v Essex


Kent Spitfires v Essex

Vitality Blast
The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
Friday 21 June 2024 | 6:30pm


Team News:

Kent Spitfires: Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Marcus O’Riordan, Sam Billings (C) (WK), Joey Evison, Harry Finch, Tawanda Muyeye, Beyers Swanepoel, Xavier Bartlett, Nathan Gilchrist, Matt Parkinson

Essex: Adam Rossington (wk), Dean Elgar, Michael Pepper, Jordan Cox, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Charlie Allison, Simon Harmer (C), Luc Benkenstein, Ben Allison, Aaron Beard

Match Details

Umpires: Martin Saggers & James Tredwell
Match Referee: Simon Hinks
Toss: Essex win the toss and bowl
Result: Essex win by 5 wickets

Scorecard: View here

Match Highlights

Match Report

Essex’ condemned the Kent Spitfires to a fifth consecutive Vitality Blast defeat on Friday night as they cruised to a five-wicket win at Canterbury.

Simon Harmer, Ben Allison and Matt Critchley all claimed two wickets as Kent were limited to 156 for seven, Sam Billings the highest scorer with 38.

It never looked like being enough on a typically batter-friendly St. Lawrence wicket and Michael Pepper blasted 76 from 42 balls as the visitors coasted home with five overs to spare, finishing on 157 for five.

Essex chose to bowl and got Daniel Bell-Drummond for 10, Allison duping him into a false shot that looped to Pepper at deep backward point.

Zak Crawley had made 20 when he hit Critchley to Allison on the deep-midwicket boundary and the umpires ruled his foot wasn’t in contact with the rope as he took a juggling catch.

Tawanda Muyeye hit Simon Harmer back over his head for six but was bowled off the next ball for 18, giving Harmer his first Blast wicket of the season.

Joey Evison went for seven, swatting Paul Walter to Allison at mid-off, but the real prize was Billings, who hit Critchley almost vertically before Luc Benkenstein took a steepling catch.

Marcus O’Riordan made 20 from 11 before playing on to Harmer, Allison bowled Beyers Swanepoel for two and it was left to Harry Finch to milk what he could from the tail, finishing on 24 not out.

The Essex innings was just an over old when the umpires took the players off because the sun was apparently “too bright,” prompting the DJ to play “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.

They were almost at the rope when a cloud appeared and they were called back. Adam Rossington lasted just three more balls before he chipped Xavier Bartlett to Nathan Gilchrist.

A second light delay followed before Gilchrist had Dean Elgar caught by O’Riordan for seven, leading to an eventful Jordan Cox cameo against his former county. He walked out to a mixture of booing and applause and responded with three successive fours off Bartlett. He then dumped Gilchrist for consecutive sixes, only to sky his next ball to Billings, falling for an eight-ball 26 and walking off to cries of “Judas” and worse from an unforgiving handful of home fans.

After nine overs it was 99 for three and the WASP predictor suggested Essex were 99 percent likely to win. That was absurd as Walter immediately holed out to Matt Parkinson and was caught by an inrushing Bartlett for 15, but Pepper was playing with such ease that any realistic home hopes had faded long before swished at Evison and Parkinson couldn’t cling on at short third man.

With fans streaming for the exits Gilchrist had Pepper caught on the boundary by Finch, leaving Critchley to score the winning runs with an inside edge that went for four.

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here