Blast Report: Kent Spitfires v Bears
Kent Spitfires booked their place at the Vitality Blast Finals Day with a 21-run win over Birmingham Bears in front of a raucous crowd at Canterbury, snapping a streak of three quarter-final defeats in the previous six seasons.
Matt Milnes took four for 24, Jack Leaning two for seven and Qais Ahmad two for 13, as the Spitfires smothered the Bears, who finished on 141 all out, chasing Kent’s 162 for seven. Jacob Lintott was their top scorer with a gutsy 41, after the top order collapsed.
Sam Billings earlier hit 56 and Daniel Bell-Drummond 53 for Kent. Tim Bresnan took four for 26, with Chris Woakes claiming one for 37 on his return from injury.
Kent were put in and lost Zak Crawley for just four when he lofted Woakes to Adam Hose in the second over.
Denly was deceived by Bresnan’s slower ball and caught by Lintott for 11 but Bell-Drummond and Billings rebuilt the innings with a stand of 50, the former smashing Danny Briggs for successive sixes, before he suffered a freak dismissal when Billings’ drive crashed into his stumps and ricocheted to Lintott, who ran him out.
Leaning was caught and bowled by Craig Miles for seven and Alex Blake holed out to Bresnan and was caught by Chris Benjamin for eight. Woakes’ last over, the 19th, went for 16, but Bresnan took wickets from successive balls, getting Billings caught on the boundary, before Sam Hain took a juggling catch to remove Jordan Cox for nine.
Adam Milne hit the hat-trick ball for six and finished on eight not out, but the target looked low until Birmingham lurched to 55 for six in reply.
Hose was stumped off Denly by Billings for eight and Benjamin was caught and bowled by Matt Milnes for 11. Ahmad bowled Rob Yates’ off stump for 19 and Leaning trapped Hain lbw for five before bowling Will Rhodes with a full toss for three. Michael Burgess swiped Ahmad to Crawley for six and Woakes made 14 before he skied Milnes to Blake.
Although Lintott and Bresnan went down swinging, Milne bowled the former, leaving the Bears needing 25 from Milnes’ final over. Cox took a superb catch to get rid of Bresnan for 24, stepping over the rope and back in again, before Miles skied the final delivery to Blake.