Vitality Blast – South Group

Kent 165-9 beat Somerset 124 by 41 runs

SOMERSET’S ‘Kent curse’ continued as Imran Qayyum’s five-wicket haul consigned the visitors to yet another defeat at Canterbury.

Somerset have never won a T20 match at the St Lawrence Ground but would have been confident of ending that run at the halfway stage having restricted the hosts to 165-9 on a good wicket, Roelof van der Merwe taking 3-19.

Only Tom Banton got going with the bat, however, and his departure sparked a flurry of six wickets for 20 runs which put the result beyond doubt.

Stand-in skipper Tom Abell lost the toss but was content to bowl first, a feeling which would only have been enhanced by the removal of both openers within the powerplay.

Ollie Robinson and Mohammad Nabi accelerated to 54-2 after six overs but Max Waller returned to remove the Afghanistan star for 34, expertly taken by van der Merwe at mid-off.

Robinson passed 50 but fell shortly afterwards, lured down the track by van der Merwe and stumped, while there was a first senior Somerset wicket for Tom Lammonby when Sean Dickson misjudged a scoop and was caught behind.

The 19-year-old debutant showed plenty of promise with his left-arm seam, despite taking a bit of tap at the death, and finished with 1-35 from his four overs.

Somerset continued to take regular wickets, with van der Merwe standing out and two scalps apiece for Waller and Jerome Taylor, though a useful ninth-wicket stand of 28 between Qayyum and Hardus Viljoen left Somerset chasing more than they might have.

Even so, the visitors would have fancied pursuing 166 given the ease with which they completed a higher run chase at Glamorgan in Thursday night’s group opener.

On that occasion, a flying start by Banton and Babar Azam had laid the foundations but this time the Pakistan star, on seven, had no answer to a beauty from Viljoen which pegged back his off stump.

Banton was beginning to showcase his array of shots – one nailed reverse sweep off Nabi was particularly impressive – but his decision to take on Qayyum proved his downfall as he picked out Fred Klaason at mid-off and departed for 28.

From then on it was a procession. Peter Trego (20) and James Hildreth (3) fell within the space of three Qayyum deliveries and Lammonby was run out for a single after a mix-up with Tom Abell (10), who was promptly dismissed in the next over after sharp work by Robinson behind the stumps.

Abell’s departure left Somerset 74-7, Qayyum ending with 5-21, and only some trademark lusty blows from the Overton twins took the visitors into three figures; the score was 105 when Jamie fell to a superb Nabi catch on the deep square leg boundary.

Adam Milne took the final two wickets to put Somerset out of their misery, the visitors falling 41 runs short and losing to Kent for the 11th consecutive occasion in T20 cricket.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Abell said: "At halfway we would have taken that and we were pretty happy.

"But when you lose six for 20 you are not going to win too many.

"I don’t think we executed our skills well as batters. We got it pretty wrong tonight.

"One positive we will take is Tom Lammonby. He came in for his debut and I thought he was outstanding."