Kent prevail in rain-reduced match
Kent 79 for 3 (9.1/10 overs) beat Gloucestershire 115 for 4 (16/16 overs) by seven wickets (D/L method)
Kent strengthened their chances of a earning a Friends Life t20 quarter-final place with a seven-wicket victory over Gloucestershire under the Duckworth-Lewis system in Bristol.
Gloucestershire posted 115 for 4 after losing the toss in a match reduced to 16 overs per side by rain, Kevin O'Brien hitting three sixes and three fours in an unbeaten 43 off 24 balls. Kent's reply was twice interrupted by rain and they ended up needing 76 from 10 overs, a simple enough task achieved with five balls to spare.
O'Brien shared an unbroken stand of 64 in 6.4 overs with Kane Williamson (20 not out). But the Gloucestershire total did not look enough and so it proved. Kent's run chase was reduced to 104 from 14 overs when their innings was interrupted for the first time at 40 for one in the fifth. They progressed to 59 for two in the seventh before another heavy shower sent the players off.
When play resumed the revised target was 76 off 10 and many spectators had already headed for the exits. Despite losing Joe Denly for 23 after the restart, Kent were never under any pressure.
Sam Northeast hit the winning boundary after Azhar Mahmood had scored a useful 20, coming in at three, but it was a totally unsatisfactory contest for the small crowd. A key moment in Gloucestershire's innings appeared to come when O'Brien, on one, was dropped by Denly at deep square off Wahab Riaz.
Had the difficult running chance been taken, Gloucestershire would have been 55 for 5 in the 12th over. O'Brien profited from the error and went on to blast James Tredwell over cover and then mid-wicket for sixes off successive balls in the 13th over, and from then on he and Williamson produced the best batting of the game.
Hamish Marshall, Jack Taylor and Chris Taylor had all fallen cheaply as Gloucestershire slipped to 46 for three, although Ian Cockbain played well for his 32 off 31 balls, with four fours.
The result left Gloucestershire with only three wins from 12 South Group games and out of contention for a top-four finish, while Kent look well placed on 16 points from 13 fixtures.