Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - T20 Blast: Jordan Cox stars to end Kent's title drought. Cox hit an unbeaten 58 in Kent's innings.
Cox hit an unbeaten 58 in Kent's innings.
Kent lifted their second T20 Blast title – first in 14 years – with an outstanding all-round show in the finale against Somerset, beating them by 25 runs on Saturday. Jordan Cox was the star with the bat, hitting a brutal 58 not out at the fag end of their stuttering innings to propel them to a defendable 167 before pulling off some acrobatic catches in the field to make it a night to remember.
Asked to bat first, Kent didn’t get off to the best of starts after Roelof van der Merwe picked three wickets in quick succession as they slipped from a 44 without loss to 52 for 3 in the space of 13 deliveries. Zak Crawley began the recovery, hitting a measured 41 off 33 but it was Cox who stole the limelight.
He added a 36-run stand with Jack Leaning, post Crawley’s departure, to resurrect the innings before taking over complete control. Cox struck three sixes and as many boundaries in his 28-ball 58, 38 off which came in the final three alone as Kent went from 118 for 5 after 17 overs to a much more confident 167/7 by the close.
Somerset themselves lost two in the powerplay, with Joe Denly removing Tom Banton for a second-ball duck for the first of his three wickets on the night. Will Smeed and Tom Abell did the repair work through a 58-run partnership for the third wicket which promised to put their chase back on track before Cox’s acrobatics swung the momentum in Kent’s favour for good.
The first was a controversial ruling that gave Smeed a six. Cox pulled off a stunner at deep square leg when Smeed holed out on 37, trying to slog-sweep Denly. However, teammate Daniel Bell-Drummond collided into him the next second with his body in contact with the ropes. After a deliberation between the three umpires and the match referee, Smeed was awarded six. Cox and Denly, however, combined again three balls later as Smeed top-edged a low full toss, with the former completing a clean catch.
Cox then pulled off another stunning grab, mid-air over the midwicket fence, before passing it on to Matt Milnes as Lewis Gregory too fell trying to sweep Darren Stevens – a wicket that triggered a dramatic collapse. The next four all fell for single-digit scores making a recovery nearly impossible. The tail did strike a six each, delaying the inevitable as Somerset eventually fell 25 short.
Brief scores: Kent 167/7 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 58*, Zak Crawley 41; Roelof van der Merwe 3-19) beat Somerset 142/9 in 20 overs (Will Smeed 43; Joe Denly 3-31, Qais Ahmed 2-19) by 25 runs.