Hampshire have a Blast in dramatic T20 victory
Hampshire secured their first Natwest T20 Blast victory of the season with a dramatic nine-run win over Kent at the Ageas Bowl.
The home side looked in big trouble when Kent reached 65 for one after 10 overs, chasing a target of 158 runs.
Slowly, though, the hosts dragged themselves back into the game with two of their big international stars, Shahid Afridi and Darren Sammy, playing leading roles
They ripped the heart out of the Kent middle order leaving them in dire straits.
There was more drama when Sammy pulled up after just one ball of the penultimate over with Tino Best having to replace him.
Kent needed 16 runs off the final over but when Gareth Berg bowled David Griffiths, Hampshire were home and dry.
Earlier Hampshire, after being put into bat, struggled to get any momentum into the start of their innings.
After the six power-play overs they only had 47 on the board and had lost returning England international James Vince
Michael Carberry continued to anchor the innings but Jimmy Adams (18) was caught in front of square trying to raise the tempo.
Shahid Afridi (21) arrived at the wicket and along with classy Carberry (54), who finished with a half-century, added a valuable 40 runs for the fourth wicket.
There was great anticipation when Sammy (27) walked out to the wicket and he didn’t disappoint with some big hits, before he was caught off the bowling of Matt Coles.
Hampshire’s total seemed below par and even more so when Kent reached 50 without loss and looked very comfortable.
Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly looked in charge but Hampshire refused to give it up.
Sammy turned the game back in Hampshire’s favour in the 14th over, taking two wickets with two balls to start applying the pressure.
Two overs later Afridi showed that he could match anything Sammy could do by repeating the feat.
With Kent needing 22 runs off the final two overs, Sammy was brought back but was forced to leave the field with what looked like a hamstring injury after only one ball.
Tino Best took over and clean bowled James Treadwell to put the home side on the brink of an unlikely win.
When Gareth Berg bowled Griffiths in the final over Hampshire were home and dry.