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Cricket: Kent cruise past Somerset in T20 Blast

PUBLISHED: 07:42 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:42 09 July 2018

Kent's Heino Kuhn reaches his century during the Royal London One Day Cup semi final at Worcester (pic Nigel French/PA)

Kent's Heino Kuhn reaches his century during the Royal London One Day Cup semi final at Worcester (pic Nigel French/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Kent Spitfires maintained their stranglehold over Somerset in T20 cricket by cruising to an eight-wicket Vitality Blast victory at Taunton.

The hosts, who haven’t beaten their opponents in the shortest format since 2011, posted a well below-par 159-6 after losing the toss, with James Hildreth top-scoring with 57 off 45 balls and Carlos Brathwaite claiming 4-21.

In reply, Kent made light work of their target, charging to a convincing win with 21 balls to spare.

Heino Kuhn, with 67 not out out off 42 balls, and Daniel Bell-Drummond (58) led the way as their side made it maximum points from two South Group games.

Somerset never recovered from losing three wickets in the first six overs.

Their top three batsmen, Johann Myburgh, Steve Davies and Peter Trego contributed just 11 runs between them as Joe Denly and Brathwaite twice made early inroads.

The best batting of the innings came when Hildreth and Tom Abell put together a half-century stand for the fourth wicket in 5.2 overs, both timing the ball sweetly.

Four-day captain Abell hit three fours and two sixes in making 36 from 24 balls but when he became Brathwaite’s third victim, caught at long-on in the 12th over, Kent’s bowlers re-established a grip.

Hildreth and Corey Anderson (30 not out) were never able to lift the scoring rate sufficiently.

Hildreth went to fifty off 37 deliveries, but Adam Milne conceded only 23 from his four overs and Somerset’s total looked 30 short on a high-scoring ground.

So it proved as, despite the loss of Denly in the fourth over, Kent never looked remotely in danger of falling short.

Bell-Drummond and Kuhn were soon making hay in the sunshine, adding 101 for the second wicket.

Kuhn dispatched Anderson’s first delivery of the match straight for six at the start of the eighth over and collected another maximum over long-off at the expense of Roelof van der Merwe.

Bell-Drummond lost nothing in comparison, producing a perfect straight drive off Max Waller to bisect the fielders at long-on and long-off as the hundred was brought up in the 11th over.

The opener, who relishes batting at Taunton, then reached his own fifty off 35 balls, with a six over long-on off Jamie Overton, making the Somerset bowlers toil in the afternoon heat.

Kuhn went to his half-century in the 14th over off 32 balls and, although Bell-Drummond fell to a catch at deep cover off Overton, when skipper Sam Billings hit the winning six, Kent had outplayed their opponents in all departments.

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