Kent all-rounder Alex Blake delivers Vitality Blast heroics to stun James Vince's Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl
Hampshire suffered defeat to Kent in a Vitality Blast thriller at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.
Alex Blake smashed two huge sixes off the final over as the Spitfires snatched a two-wicket victory with a ball to spare.
Chris Wood was defending 16 runs in front of a crowd of around 10,000 – the biggest for a T20 fixture at the venue for nearly three years.
But he was unable to prevent Blake, who finished unbeaten on 57 off 38 deliveries, delivering a grandstand finish.
Hampshire, who saw Friday’s curtain-raiser against Sussex Sharks abandoned without a ball being bowled, won the toss and elected to bat.
Rilee Rossouw (10) and Aneurin Donald (13) raced to 22 in the opening three overs before the latter hoisted a catch to mid-on.
Fresh from celebrating the World Cup with England, skipper James Vince showed his intent immediately.
He crashed three powerful fours off Fred Klaassen’s first over on his way to 51 off 35 balls.
Following the exit of Rossouw, Vince and Sam Northeast shared a stand of 63 for the third wicket.
But soon after Vince was caught and bowled by Mohammed Nabi, Klaassen removed James Fuller and Northeast in successive balls leaving Hampshire to limp to 145 for five.
Wood (one for 37) made early inroads with the wicket of Daniel Bell-Drummond in the first over.
Kyle Abbott (three for 22) and Vince’s fellow World Cup winner Liam Dawson (two for 25) then reduced Kent to 41 for four.
Blake arrived at the crease with other ideas, however, and his heroics left Hampshire stunned.