Hampshire Slip To Spitfires Defeat

Captain Vince's 66 And Smith's 3-24 Not Enough

Despite a superb half-century from James Vince (66) and some well-controlled bowling from Will Smith (3-24), Hampshire were unlucky to fall to a five-wicket defeat in their second NatWest T20 Blast fixture of 2015 against Kent at the Ageas Bowl.

After winning the toss and batting first, Hants looked to have posted a very competitive total, with Vince starring on the way to posting 172-6 from their allotted overs.

But after a slow start, some destructive hitting from Alex Blake (70*) and Sam Northeast (60*) saw the visitors over-the-line with four balls to spare.

The hosts began their innings in excellent style as some aggressive stroke-play from Michael Carberry (20) and Vince helped boundaries flow freely early on.

The former departed at the hands of former Hampshire seamer David Griffiths (2-36) after being caught in the deep, however Vince soon demonstrated his T20 prowess with a number of hefty blows.

The opener continued to dominate and a 60 run partnership with Owais Shah (26) saw Hants reach 103-3 after less than 12 overs.

The Hampshire skipper was eventually dismissed as he attempted his fifth consecutive boundary, but runs still flowed thanks to Shah and incoming batsman Adam Wheater (36).

Some batting from Wheater helped accumulate further runs throughout, and as the total grew, so did the keeper’s confidence.

Mitch Claydon (1-26) picked up the valuable wicket of Wheater in the 18th over, but with Hants finishing on 172-6, the damage had seemingly already been done.

In reply, a wicket for Smith in his opening over saw Hampshire off to the perfect start, and whilst former England opener Joe Denly (26) steered the away-side to 39-2, Danny Briggs (1-35) soon claimed the important wicket, removing Denly with his very first delivery.

Wickets continued to fall regularly throughout as Smith grabbed two more scalps, and some lightening work behind the stumps from Wheater, helped Hants dismiss Sam Billings (15) who was run out with an accurate direct-hit.

Kent soon found themselves struggling at 70-5 by the halfway stage and still required another 103 runs for victory with just 10 overs remaining.

However, some big-hitting from the 25-year-old and Blake meant Kent needed 43 runs off the final four overs and an unlikely win soon begun to seem possible.

Both batsman managed to still find ways to hit boundaries and two high-scoring overs meant that just 19 runs were required off the remaining 12 deliveries.

The Hants bowlers were unfortunate as several airborne shots continued to fly to the boundary instead of to hand, and with just five needed from the final over, Blake saw the visitors home with a flamboyant flash over backward point to hand Kent a second T20 win.