NATWEST T20 BLAST, 2017
Cricbuzz Staff •
Thisara Perera combined with Tom Smith to account for six wickets between themselves to seal a Gloucestershire win © Getty
In the return fixture, Kent succumbed to another loss against Gloucestershire as they failed to chase down 139 in their South Group clash in Canterbury on Tuesday (July 18). Kent’s decision to bowl first worked wonders as they picked up regular wickets to not let their opponents off the hook. Set a target of 139 to win, Kent floundered the chase after Alex Blake and Darren Stevens went back into the hut with Gloucestershire winning by eight runs. This win also puts them beside Hampshire in the points table – who have six points too but from a game lesser.
Earlier in the evening, Gloucestershire‘s openers departed within the mandatory powerplay period before Ian Cockbain and George Hankins put together 46 runs for the third wicket in rather defiant fashion. Once Cockbain was sent back with five overs remaining, Gloucestershire failed to press on the accelerator with Kent’s bowlers sharing the honours among themselves – James Neesham, Mitchell Claydon and Imran Qayyum – all picking up two wickets apiece.
139 was never going to be a tough ask for Kent and a steady start from the top-order batsmen ensured there were no hiccups to begin with. However, Thisara Perera and Thomas Smith had other ideas as both ran riot in the top order, picking up three wickets apiece. While Smith picked up the wickets of Joe Denly, Sam Billings and James Neesham, Benny Howell picked up two too. Howell had picked up four scalps in the previous game against Kent and thus continued his good form. With 27 runs required in the final two, Kent failed to up the ante, slipping to a defeat.
Brief Scores: Gloucestershire 138/9 in 20 overs (Ian Cockbain 40; Imran Qayyum 2-19) beat Kent 130 in 20 overs (Daniel Bell-Drummond 25; Thomas Smith 3-28, Thisara Perera 3-31) by 8 runs.