Nabi heroics helps Kent continue unbeaten start


Surrey vs Kent Spitfires – Vitality Blast T20

Tuesday 30th July 2019 – Peter Moore at the Kia Oval

Surrey 54-4 (7)   Kent 55-1 (4) – Kent won by nine wickets

Kent continued their unbeaten start in the Southern Group of the Vitality Blast after defeating Surrey by nine wickets at the Kia Oval.

In a match badly affected by rain and reduced to seven overs per side, Surrey posted 54 for 4 with Aaron Finch making 36 not out. The total always looked too few runs as Kent made easy work of their target by getting home with three overs to spare, thanks to an explosive innings of 43 not out from Mohammad Nabi from only 12 deliveries.

After a delay of an hour and a half, play eventually got underway at 8pm with the match reduced to 13 overs per side. The Spitfires won the toss and elected to bowl. Finch was named as Surrey’s stand in captain after Jade Dernbach missed the game, due to a back injury.

With just ten minutes until the scheduled start time, more light rain returned, before it stopped right on cue, with play getting underway at 8pm. Albeit, just for one ball when more rain started to fall. The ground staff started to bring on the covers as the rain started getting heavier. Eventually the rain stopped with play resuming at 8.50 with the game now reduced to seven overs per side.

Will Jacks (five) went early to Hardus Viljoen with Ollie Pope coming in at three. Finch and Pope took 13 off Fred Klassen’s opening over before Finch dispatched Mohammad Nabi’s first ball over the deep square leg boundary. The Afghanistan all rounder got swift revenge when Pope (five) was caught in the deep. Jordan Clark (one) had his off stump removed by Viljoen to leave Surrey 34 for 3 in the fifth over.

It was down to Finch with some late hitting from the Australian who made an unbeaten 36 from 20 balls as Surrey made 54 for 4 in their seven overs.

A tight opening over was rewarded when Imran Tahir trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond (one). Eleven runs were taken off Tom Curran’s first over before Nabi launched into the bowling of Rikki Clarke by dispatching him for two successive six’s over deep square leg. Clarke’s final ball of the over saw another maximum from Nabi, this time over long on as Kent raced on to 35 for 1 after just three overs, with Clarke’s solitary over going for 21.

It was fitting that it was Nabi who clinched victory for Kent after hitting Tahir over his head for his fifth maximum of the night to finish unbeaten on 43, coming off only 12 balls as Kent reached their target with 18 deliveries remaining to make it four wins out of four in the Blast.


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