Rain the winner at Canterbury
Rain the winner at Canterbury

Kent Spitfires and Surrey shared a point apiece after their Vitality Blast South Group clash in Canterbury was abandoned due to heavy rain during the innings break and after Surrey had posted a mammoth 250 for six – the fourth highest total in domestic T20 cricket.

Kent, with three wins from four starts, faced a pursuit at an asking rate of 12.6 an over but were spared the task once rain strengthened after the Surrey innings.

Batting first after winning the toss, which was made with a commemorative Queen Anne solid silver shilling from 1709 – the year these two clubs first met – Surrey hit a boundary from the first delivery and went on to post 250 for six, the fourth highest total in English domestic T20.

Visiting openers Rory Burns and Aaron Finch set the tone, hitting quick-fire 50s, making hay to short boundaries and against a Kent attack hamstrung by a soapy ball and a wet outfield; the result of constant light drizzle .

Finch bludgeoned off back-foot and front at every opportunity to post a 19-ball half-century with eight fours and a brace of sixes, while Burns, standing in for the injured Jason Roy, reached the milestone from 27-balls for his maiden 50 in the short-form game.

The pair posted 87 in the six-over powerplay and had 119 on the board when Burns chased a wide, full delivery from Calum Haggett to edge through to keeper Sam Billings.

Surrey posted three figures after seven overs as Finch plundered on. The burly Aussie had 83 to his name after 38 balls faced when he heaved across the line to be bowled by left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum to make it 144 for two.

Qayyum picked up a second scalp when he pegged back Ben Foakes’ leg stump after the right-hander charged down the pitch to miss an attempted leg-side smear.

Rikki Clarke marched in with licence to thrill and reaped havoc, the all-rounder joined forces with Nic Maddinson to club three sixes in an over from Qayyum but, in looking for a fourth, Clarke holed out to long on to go for 16.

Maddinson’s fun ended to the very next delivery when he too chased a wide one from Haggett to feather one through to the keeper to depart for 29 off

Surrey sailed past 217, their best ever score against Kent in the short-form game and, by the end of the 18th over had posted their best ever T20 total beating their 224 for five against Gloucestershire in Bristol in 2006.

Ollie Pope and Sam Curran continued to blaze away in the final four overs making Surrey the fourth side to post 250 or more in domestic T20 history before Pope holed out off the final delivery of the innings as Surrey added 50 in their last four overs.

Qayyum finished with three for 40 and Haggett two for 53, but Brathwaite, one of the world’s highest paid T20 bowlers, leaked 55 from his three overs of Surrey onslaught.

Kent’s bowler Imran Qayyum, fresh from his career-best T20 figures, said: “It was a shame about the rain because it ruined what might have been a great spectacle. We would have looked to have chased that down, but we can take a positive from getting a point out of the match. That point could be massive come the end of the group stages.

“Everything was in the favour of the Surrey batters tonight. We had a short boundary on one side, the drizzle was falling all night and that meant the ball was sliding onto the bat nicely. Aaron Finch played a world-class knock tonight, but we have world-class players in our side too, so I felt their score was about par for the course and we’d have hoped to chase it down.”

Finch, who hit 83 off 38 balls, said: “I thought that was a decent score and 250 is going to be hjard for any side to chase at any stage, but we know how well Kent have played in the recent past and I think it would have been one hell of a game, but for the rain.

“We were one down 1ith 100 on the board, so I was going after everything pretty much. I’d got off to a really good start today, in fact although I got a hundred in the last game, I’d made a slower start. This one was nice to get away early. Of course, three figures would have been nice, but I was happy to set us up for a really decent total.”


 
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