NatWest T20 Blast
South Group
Kent 181-3 (revised total) beat Somerset 197-6 by 7 wkts

KENT Spitfires denied Somerset a third straight win in the NatWest T20 Blast, as the hosts triumphed by seven wickets on Thursday evening to claim a seventh consecutive 20-over victory against their opponents.

Despite Steve Davies' 62 and Johann Myburgh's 64 for the visitors, Kent's openers Daniel Bell-Drummond (39) and Joe Denly (46) feasted on the Somerset attack before a rain delay, setting the platform for Sam Northeast (54no) to guide the home side to a revised winning total of 181-3.

Somerset - who brought Myburgh in for the injured Corey Anderson and Josh Davey in for fellow Scot Michael Leask - won the toss and elected to bat first.

The visitors lost their first wicket off the last ball of the first over, as Lewis Gregory was unable to continue his fine form as opening batsman, mis-timing a pull shot to be caught by Adam Milne (bowled Jimmy Neesham) for just one.

Joined by skipper Jim Allenby, Davies looked in decent touch once again, and scored a seven (three to the cover boundary and then four after an overthrow) on his way to his best T20 score for Somerset as the away side reached 61-1 from five overs.

Allenby departed for 25, top edging to wicketkeeper Sam Billings off the bowling of Imran Qayyum, but Davies continued to time his shots wonderfully and reached his half-century from 23 balls.

Somerset were on 98-2 at the halfway stage in their innings, but Davies finally fell for an excellent 62 (off 32 balls, with seven 4s and two 6s), caught by Bell-Drummond off Denly.

Myburgh survived a dropped catch by Alex Blake as he felt his way back in after a spell on the sidelines, but the in-form James Hildreth was caught behind off Matt Coles for 11.

Three maximums in one over off Neesham took Myburgh up to 48 and Somerset 155-4 from 15 overs, and he secured his half-century off 27 balls soon afterwards.

A fine over from Mitchell Claydon saw the visitors' momentum stall somewhat, only for Myburgh and Peter Trego to start finding the boundary again as light rain arrived at the start of the 19th over. 

Myburgh eventually departed for an explosive 64 (off 35 balls, with one 4 and six 6s), as Billings took the catch off Claydon, but Trego ended on 26 (run out off the final ball) and Roelof van der Merwe 3no as Somerset posted a competitive 197-6 from their 20 overs.

Claydon took 1-25 off four overs and Neesham 1-24 off three for Kent.

Home openers Denly and Bell-Drummond made a lightning start, motoring to 58-0 from five overs as bowlers Craig Overton, Josh Davey and Gregory all struggled in the damp conditions.

The boundaries kept coming (Kent reaching 77-0 off six overs), but the rain became heavier and the umpires brought the players off with the hosts 30 runs ahead in the Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

Play was halted for 30 minutes and the home side were set a revised target of 181 from 18 overs.

Max Waller was introduced and made the breakthrough, bowling Denly for 46 (off 24 balls), and after Kent reached 93-1 at the halfway mark in their innings Waller struck again, Van der Merwe taking the catch to send Bell-Drummond on his way for 39 (off 26 balls).

But captain Northeast and Blake scored 20 in the 11th over off Overton, and then 16 off Tim Groenewald, to put the hosts right back in command.

With the seamers being creamed around the ground - Groenewald finishing with figures of 0-44 off three overs and Overton 0-41 off 2.3 - the spin of Van der Merwe (0-21 off four) and Waller (2-33 off four) could not save Somerset's skin.

Gregory (1-24 off two) bowled Blake for 20, but Kent only needed 22 from their final three overs, and Northeast passed his half-century as he and Billings (14no) sealed the victory in the penultimate over.

That gave Kent their seventh consecutive T20 win over Somerset, who remain third in the South Group standings - with their conquerors now just a point behind with a game in hand.

Next up for Somerset is a home match with eighth-placed Sussex, on Sunday, July 30 (2.30pm start).