Sammy Has Debut to Remember as Hants Secure First T20 Win

Report from Hampshire's NatWest T20 Blast match against Kent at the Ageas Bowl

Nerveless bowling from Shahid Afridi & Darren Sammy kick-started Hampshire’s hopes of a seventh successive Natwest T20 Blast Finals Day, securing a 9-run victory over Kent Spitfires at the Ageas Bowl.

Afridi’s figures of 3-33, including the key wicket of half century maker Daniel Bell-Drummond (64) helped Hampshire to a thrilling win - their first T20 victory of the season.

Michael Carberry supplied a superb innings with the bat, after being put in by Spitfires' captain Sam Northeast, hitting 54 off 53 balls, before a fascinating conclusion to the game was decided by a furious spell of Hampshire bowling.

Skipper James Vince (7), released by England to play in both this game and Glamorgan on Friday, beautifully drove former Hampshire man David Griffiths to the point ropes but was caught by Blake at cover.

Jimmy Adams (18) carted the first Ageas Bowl maximum of the season, pinged way over mid-wicket. Carberry joined the six hitting party with a huge slog sweep as the hosts reached 47 for one at the end of the power play, and Griffiths boasting impressive two over figures of five for one.

Carberry set the tone for the home side, hitting five to the boundary and smashing one massive six to delight the crowd, who were enjoying their first taste of Natwest T20 Blast action at the Ageas Bowl this year.

The end of the fielding restrictions slowed Hampshire up, as Adams was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Fabian Cowdrey – only 11 more runs coming before the half way point.

The wicket of Wheater gave the Ageas Bowl fans their first viewing of Afridi, and he did not disappoint as he carved a four through the off side before skipping down the track to boom one to the fence.

The Pakistani all-rounder upped the run rate to reignite hopes of setting a defendable score, putting on 40 with Carberry before being bowled by Cowdrey swinging wildly.

Carberry had gone about his work quietly reaching a solid fifty from 49 balls – but the glue of the innings departed after firing to the long on boundary.

Sean Ervine scooped behind first ball before Darren Sammy, on his first appearance on a cricket field since captaining the West Indies to the World t20, skewed a six off his legs.

Sammy and Liam Dawson accelerated Hampshire to 158-8 – with both finding fielders in the final over.

Bell-Drummond rode his luck in the early stages of the chase, firstly Gareth Andrew thought he had him caught behind but the umpire adjudged the leg-side ball to have flicked the hip.

Then Ervine dropped a chance running in from the rope, before Bell-Drummond survived a close run out chance.

But that only vitalised the in-form youngster, as he confidently took himself to a half century from 43 deliveries – which included a sumptuous straight drive off Tino Best (1-20).

Around him, Dawson bowled Denly for 31 just before the 10 over point, and then Afridi stood arms and legs stretched as he knocked over Northeast.

Returning IPL ace Billings did not do his England hopes any good when he was lbw to Gareth Berg but Darren Stevens entered the fray and slogged Dawson for a six and then a four.

Sammy continued his superb debut, getting his first wicket of the campaign by trapping Stevens at lbw, before he caught and bowled Alex Blake next ball to put Hampshire in the driving seat.

Bell-Drummond was finally stumped by a sharp piece of keeping by Wheater for 64 as Afridi continued to impress – the next ball Coles slogged straight into the hands of Dawson.

Gareth Andrew had Cowdrey pinned down lbw and Best knocked over James Tredwell’s middle stump.

David Griffiths smashed a six but Berg had the last laugh as he forced an edge and a stunning catch behind the stumps secured Hampshire's first win of the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast.