T20 Blast: Kent beat Birmingham Bears to safe first all-South Group Finals Day

T20 Blast: Kent beat Birmingham Bears to safe first all-South Group Finals Day

Vitality Blast quarter-final, The Spitfire Floor, St Lawrence, CanterburyKent 162-7 (20 overs): Billings 56, Bell-Drummond 53; Bresnan 4-26Birmingham Bears 141 (20 overs): Lintott 41; Milnes 4-24Kent beat Birmingham Bears by 21 runsMatch scorecard

Kent sealed a clear sweep for the South Group sides within the T20 Blast quarter-finals as they booked a spot at Finals Day for the primary time in 12 years.

Sam Billings led from the entrance with 56 as Kent beat Birmingham Bears to affix Somerset, Hampshire and Sussex within the final 4.

Chasing 162-7 beneath the Canterbury lights, the Bears buckled from 36-1 to 55-6 to lose by 21 runs on 141.

Kent, 2007 winners, face 2009 victors Sussex at Edgbaston on 18 September.

Hampshire and Somerset will meet within the different semi-final – a repeat of the 2010 ultimate.

Billings and Daniel Bell-Drummond (53) every took 37 balls to ease Kent to a good, though barely sub-par, rating.

However the Bears then collapsed alarmingly earlier than some fabulous late fireworks from Jake Lintott and Tim Bresnan gave the guests false hope.

The Bears’ defeat, of their first quarter-final in 4 years, was a repeat of their solely earlier T20 assembly with Kent. Again in 2008, they suffered a 42-run loss, additionally on the last-eight stage.

The one two survivors from that match had been England pair Joe Denly and Chris Woakes, who made a shock first look in nearly two months after recovering from a heel damage.

Chris Woakes was playing his first game of first-team cricket since 4 July - and only his third for the Bears this seasonChris Woakes was enjoying his first sport of first-team cricket since 4 July – and solely his third for the Bears this season

Bell-Drummond and Billings on the button

After being put in by Bears captain Will Rhodes, Kent had been solely 46-2 after the powerplay, regardless of Bell-Drummond slapping successive sixes over mid-wicket off Danny Briggs.

However no sooner had Bell-Drummond shared a 50 stand with Billings and reached his personal half-century, he perished to a wise piece of pondering by Lintott to expire the Kent opener.

Billings arrowed a straight drive which broke the stumps on the non-striker’s finish, however Lintott had the presence of thoughts to seize the ball, uproot the stump and run out Bell-Drummond.

Captain Billings must have adopted quickly after however a missed stumping by Michael Burgess proved expensive.

Kent misplaced Jack Leaning when he mistimed a pull to launch a steepling catch off Craig Miles which the bowler ran 30 yards to take.

However, though he departed within the ultimate over, Billings nonetheless marshalled a Kent rally of fifty from 30 balls.

Bears collapse earlier than Lintott’s late heroics

The Bears made a tidy begin, however Adam Hose and Chris Benjamin holed out when beginning to look harmful earlier than Kent’s spinners struck twice in successive overs.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad bowled Rob Yates after which, simply 4 balls later, off-spinner Jack Leaning claimed the prize wicket of Sam Hain.

Leaning then struck once more when Bears skipper Will Rhodes missed a full toss earlier than Burgess slapped one other full toss, this day without work Ahmad, to mid-wicket.

Woakes provided hope with a quickfire 14 earlier than exiting to a shocking overhead catch within the deep by Alex Blake.

That introduced in Lintott, contemporary from final Saturday’s success in The Hundred with Southern Courageous towards Birmingham Phoenix.

The schoolteacher-spinner bludgeoned three sixes and three fours with a wide range of creative pictures as he smashed 41 off 20 balls in a stand of 54 with Bresnan.

However, when he was bowled by Adam Milne off the final ball of the penultimate over, all hope was misplaced and Bresnan and Danny Briggs quickly perished too as Kent ended a run of 4 defeats at this stage prior to now 10 years.

Finals Day

Edgbaston, 18 September, 10:30 BST

Hampshire: Eighth Finals Day: Received (2010, 2012), semi-finalists (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017)

Somerset: Seventh Finals Day: Received (2005), runners-up (2009, 2010, 2011), semi-finalists (2012, 2018)

Sussex: Fifth Finals Day: Received (2009), runners-up (2018), semi-finalists (2007, 2012)

Kent: Fourth Finals Day: Received (2007), runners-up (2008), semi-finalists (2009)

Kent captain Sam Billings:

“I’ve by no means been to a Finals Day. It is the most effective days within the calendar, so this implies every little thing. It is all the time been our hurdle to recover from. That is our fourth quarter-final in seven years.

“We’ve not even performed our greatest. And Bell-Drummond’s was maybe essentially the most unfortunate dismissal ever and, when that occurred, I believed it is right down to me. I actually took it upon myself at that time and bought some runs on the board.

“I have not been round as a lot as I might have preferred as a result of England stuff and getting Covid. I used to be injured a few years in the past so it has been a reasonably bizarre couple of years.

“To be again right here enjoying cricket with this group it means a lot. I have been on the membership since I used to be eight. Individuals do not assume I care. I believe they’re deluded, to be sincere.”

Birmingham Bears skipper Will Rhodes:

“Once you come to a spot like Kent, the place they’re so good at dwelling, you should be in your A-game and ensure they’ve a break day.

“Sadly they did not. They outplayed us and totally deserved to win.

“We felt very assured, 160 on that wicket with a little bit of dew was chaseable, however we misplaced too many wickets in these first 10 overs.

“We noticed how Bresnan and Lintott performed on the finish. They struck it fairly cleanly. If we might had wickets in hand it could have been a special story, however that is the sport.”

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