Vitality Blast
Fri 27 August, 19:00

The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

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Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires

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Kent Spitfires


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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. 

Blast Preview: Kent Spitfires v Bears

Birmingham Bears welcome Chris Woakes, Adam Hose and all their Hundred stars back into the squad for their Vitality Blast quarter-final against Kent at Canterbury, 7pm start.

Woakes and Hose are fit and available and rejoin the group along with Jake Lintott, Danny Briggs, Chris Benjamin and Sam Hain who return from Hundred duty.

That means the Bears have some nice selection headaches as they target a victory which would take them into Finals Day at Edgbaston on September 18.

Kent, who topped their group in commanding fashion, will be favourites tomorrow evening but the Bears will go in with confidence high after finishing off their group campaign with two highly impressive wins under pressure.

It is a quarter-final showdown full of intriguing sub-plots, not least the pitting against each other of Bears batter Benjamin and Kent’s Kiwi seamer Adam Milne who have just spent the last month as team-mates at Birmingham Phoenix.

For Benjamin, who has just signed a three-year contract with Warwickshire, that will be just another ingredient to a mouth-watering contest.

“Adam and I had a few jokes about it throughout the Hundred,” Benjamin said. “I kept telling him I wanted to face him in the nets just to get used to his action. I only faced him a handful of times because the tournament was so busy, so we’ll have to see.

“He is definitely one of the best, if not the best, white-ball seamers I have played with or against in my brief career. Fortunately, I have seen a little bit more of him than other players have but he is a very skilful bowler who can bowl 90 miles an hour and with some really good slower balls. So it will be good fun to come up against him.

“It will be a really exciting night under the lights at Canterbury and hopefully we can win and get through to Finals Day which would be amazing in front of the Bears fans.”

The Bears are still without injured seamers Henry Brookes, Olly Stone, Olly Hannon-Dalby and Ryan Sidebottom as well as Dan Mousley who has been so unlucky to sustain a second fractured finger this season. But they still take a very strong squad south with Hose back in contention at the top of the order and Craig Miles and Tim Bresnan fit again to vie with Woakes for selection in the seam attack.

Another intriguing element to the match is the lack of history between the two sides in T20. In the tournament’s 18-year span, they have met just once, when Kent won by 42 runs in a quarter-final at Edgbaston in 2008.

The Bears would love to even the score on their T20 bow at Canterbury tomorrow.


Rhodes (C), Benjamin, Bresnan, Briggs, E.Brookes, Burgess, Hain, Hose, Lamb, Lintott, Miles, Pollock, Woakes, Yates.

How to follow

Tickets for the fixture have sold out.

Bears Members and supporters can also follow the Club from home via the Match Centre on and through the Edgbaston app (available for free on iOS and Android).

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