Hampshire’s woes continue with Kent defeat

Kent all-rounder Matt Coles, right, returned to haunt former club Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl tonight   Picture: Neil Marshall
Kent all-rounder Matt Coles, right, returned to haunt former club Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl tonight Picture: Neil Marshall
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Hampshire’s woes continued as Kent cruised to a five-wicket win over them in the Royal London One Day Cup this evening.

That’s after Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly smashed the visitors to a commanding victory to boost their quarter-final hopes.

Former England batsman Denly continued his impressive recent form with a chanceless century, his sixth in the format.

Bell-Drummond added 203 for the first wicket, a highest first-wicket stand against Hampshire, and notched his highest score for Kent with an exciting 91.

The pair looked unstoppable and looked on course for a 10-wicket annihilation but three wickets in seven balls halted the charge.

Bell-Drummond, who survived a caught-behind appeal early on, was the first to finally depart when he picked out Tom Alsop on the boundary rope.

Four balls later Brad Wheal, on his Hampshire 50-over debut, took his second, getting Denly looping one up to Sean Ervine.

Skipper Sam Northeast was then lbw to Ryan McLaren and Darren Stevens was well caught by Mason Crane – Wheal with a third to send a panic through Kent.

A collapse was in motion when Sam Billings pulled tamely to Gareth Berg to put Wheal on a hat-trick but Alex Blake and Will Gidman steered the away side out the storm and to victory with 39 balls to spare.

Earlier Hampshire were stuck in, and despite a solid 38 runs stand to kick-start the innings, they haemorrhaged wickets regularly.

Alsop was the first man to depart as he tickled a delivery outside off stump to be caught behind, he was quickly followed back by opening partner Will Smith who dragged on from outside off stump.

Captain Sean Ervine added a stodgy 21 before attempting to ramp over his shoulder but was caught at extra cover.

Adam Wheater gave the hosts hope with a nicely crafted half century, from 56 deliveries, during a useful 61-run partnership with Liam Dawson.

But in the 31st over both departed in exactly the same way, Coles grabbing his first with Wheater hooking across to Alex Blake.

And Blake was the Punxsutawney Phil to the Groundhog Day when Dawson fell into the same trap three balls later.

From then on it was the Coles show on his former home ground as he yorked Lewis McManus and had Gareth Berg slashing away from his body.

Coles had his fifth when Gareth Andrew chipped to extra cover, and with his final delivery pulled off a remarkable reaction caught and bowled to see off Ryan McLaren – who had quietly scored 43.

It was the second time Coles took six wickets in a List A fixture, finishing this time with six for 56.

Wheal was the last to depart, mind boggled by a slower ball, to give Hampshire a derisory total of 229, which never looked enough once Denly and Bell-Drummond got going.