KSN are proud to support:

Victory for Kent in rain affected T20
Victory for Kent in rain affected T20

David Payne’s latest white ball masterclass proved in vain as in-form Gloucestershire suffered a frustrating eight-run defeat to Kent Spitfires on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern (DLS) method in a rain-affected Vitality Blast match at Cheltenham.

Needing to win to enhance their chances of achieving a top-four finish in the South Group and a place in the knockout stages, Gloucestershire found themselves in a strong position after bowling the visitors out for 150 in 19.2 overs at the College Ground.

Veteran campaigner Payne was outstanding in taking 4-25 in four overs, while Ollie Price finished with 2-26 after skipper Jack Taylor had won the toss and elected to bowl. Daniel Bell-Drummond did his utmost to rescue the visitors, scoring 76 off 52 balls and dominating partnerships of 56 and 54 with Joey Evison and Grant Stewart for the fourth and seventh wickets respectively.

Gloucestershire openers Miles Hammond and Cameron Bancroft then raised 23 in three overs to ease ahead of the DLS requirement, only for the rain forecast for early evening to arrive ahead of schedule with two overs more needing to be bowled to constitute a game.

When play finally resumed an hour later with the home side chasing a revised target of 145 from 19 overs, Kent reasserted themselves, Nathan Gilchrist removing Bancroft and James Bracey in the space of four balls in the fifth over.

Umpires Alex Wharf and Ben Peverall took the players off for the second and last time when heavy rain moved back in with Gloucestershire on 29-2, now eight runs behind the newly-revised DLS figure, their hopes dashed by a disappointing two-over passage of play which served to fundamentally alter the outcome. The game was abandoned soon afterwards.

Kent’s fortuitous win just about keeps alive their outside chances of progressing to the knockout stages, while fifth-placed Gloucestershire head to Taunton needing to win Sunday’s West Country derby if they are to keep pace with the leaders.

Gloucestershire went into this fixture on the back of three straight wins and that momentum was further buoyed when left arm seamer Payne claimed three wickets in a devastating 10-ball burst with the new ball from the College Lawn end.

Making his debut after joining on loan from Essex, Feroze Khushi was pinned lbw without scoring in the first over, while new batsman Tuwanda Muyeye fell second ball, driving uppishly to Jack Taylor at mid-on.
Payne then accounted for Kent captain Sam Billings in his next over, the former England man top-edging a hook to Luke Shaw as the visitors subsided to 17-3 in the third.

Charged with the task of rebuilding, Bell-Drummond plundered three successive fours in an over from Shaw that cost 15 runs, helping Spitfires recover to 40-3 at the end of the powerplay. Evison also adopted an aggressive approach in a 50 stand that occupied just 36 balls.

When Evison chanced his arm once too often and hit Beau Webster straight to Miles Hammond at long-off for a 16-ball 22 and Jack Leaning attempted to pull off spinner Ollie Price and contrived to hit his wicket, departing for a six-ball duck, Kent were 70-5 off 10.1 overs and badly in need of renewed impetus.

Bell-Drummond was fast running out of partners, Marcus O’Riordan hoisting Price to deep backward square and falling into a carefully laid trap as the visitors further subsided to 89-6. Taking matters into his own hands, Bell-Drummond launched Price over the covers to raise a 39-ball 50 with his first six as the innings realised three figures in the fifteenth.

Stewart came out swinging, contributing a 15-ball 21 in a revitalising stand of 54 in 4.5 overs before hitting the returning Payne straight down the throat of long-on. Bell-Drummond fell in the penultimate over, hoisting Shaw to deep mid-wicket, having accrued 10 fours and 2 sixes and almost single-handedly carried his side to a respectable total.

Kent batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond admitted: “We got a bit lucky at the end, but we’ll take it. We’ve had a few disappointing results in this format recently and it feels good to get a win, even if it did come because of the rain.

“We knew we needed to take wickets when we got back out there and Nathan Gilchrist did really well to get those two and change the game in our favour. He’s not had the best of times in T20 this season, but he came good when we needed him on this occasion.

“I was pleased to make a contribution with the bat, especially as we ended up winning the game. I used my experience and the short boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving, even though wickets kept falling at the other end. It felt as though we were a bit short of runs, but I enjoyed my innings after not quite managing to find my best form in this format.”