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The South Group is still wide open in Vitality T20 Blast and with Kent taking on Surrey in the next match, the list of possible scenarios has only grown. The two teams will be locking horns on 21st July 2018 at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury. The home team is at the top of the South Group table and a win here for them will strengthen their position at the top whereas a loss could take them to as low as the sixth position. Thanks to their superior net run rate of .921, a win for Surrey could take them to the top provided the other results go their way.
Kent Spitfires delivered a third straight loss to the much-fancied Hampshire, thanks to a brilliant 95-run innings from Sam Billings. Batting first on a decent surface, the Spitfires got off to a reasonable start with 50 runs after powerplay overs and both openers back in the hut. Kent resorted to accumulation mode in the next few overs as they reached 83 runs at the midway mark into their innings. It was just about then when Sam Billings took the matter in his own hands who deposited Gareth Berg's delivery into the stands.
Daniel Bell-Drummond played a vital role to take Kent's total beyond 200. He departed for a personal score of 46 while attempting to drive Stevenson's low full-toss to get another boundary. Alex Blake and Sam Billings shifted gears quickly and scored 70 runs in the last five overs to take them to 210 - a total which never looked to be a possibility at the half-way stage through their innings.
On a pitch which was a dream to bat on, Kent needed some excellent performances with the ball and their bowlers did not disappoint. James Vince, Colin Munro, and Sam Northeast were back in the hut within the first seven balls of their innings and the chase looked derailed. However, some ordinary bowling by the Spitfires in the middle order allowed Hampshire's middle order a sniff and they bounced back into the game.
After being in an opposite role a couple of days ago where he needed to hit a six off the last delivery, it was up to Mitchell Claydon to deliver with Hants needing 6 to win off the final delivery. He bowled near-perfect delivery leaving Hampshire 4 runs short of the target.
Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Alex Blake, Carlos Brathwaite, Sean Dickson, Calum Haggett, Adam Milne, Mitchell Claydon, Imran Qayyum.
Aaron Finch continued his purple patch and propelled Surrey to a 52-run win as he smacked his fifth T20 hundred. It was all about Aaron Finch as he scored unbeaten 131 on a flat Hove surface after being dropped on 1.
Despite Finch's brutal knock and superb form, the lack of contributions from the other players could be a cause of concern for the team management. Aaron Finch consumed 79 deliveries for his 131 whereas the rest of the team could manage only 54 runs in 40 deliveries with remaining seven being extras. Ben Foakes had been in sublime form prior to this match and is an important pillar for Surrey.
Sam Curran and Jade Dernbach stitched together an impressive display of new-ball bowling which left Sussex tottering at 8 for 2. Sussex never managed to recover thereafter and were always behind the behind the eight ball. Riki Clarke, Gareth, and Matthew Pillans strangled them in the middle overs to deliver the knockout punch and win the match by a whopping margin of 51 runs.
Rory Burns, Aaron Finch, Nic Maddinson, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Sam Curran, Jade Dernbach, Rikki Clarke, Scott Borthwick, MW Pillans, Gareth Batty.
Both Kent and Surrey have the services of batting stars who can demolish any bowling attack on their day. Although Kent have the home advantage, Surrey's bowling lineup is more experienced and versatile with the services of Sam Curran and Jade Dernbach and for those reasons coupled with the Finch factor, Surrey are more likely to emerge victorious in what promises to be a high-scoring encounter at Canterbury.