Mahmood eases Kent to comfortable win
Kent 130 for 4 beat Glamorgan 126 for 6 by six wickets
Kent wrapped up their Friends Provident t20 home fixtures and moved off the foot of the South Group table with a comfortable six-wicket win over Glamorgan in Canterbury with five balls to spare.
The Spitfires posted a fifth win of the campaign courtesy of an unbeaten stand of 43 between Geraint Jones (22) and top-scorer Azhar Mahmood, who hit 30 from 29 balls to take the man-of-the-match honours.
Pursuing the Dragons' modest total of 126 at an asking rate of 6.4 an over, Kent made a poor start when James Hockley (nought) dabbed at a Robert Croft arm-ball to edge to the keeper.
Joe Denly and Martin van Jaarsveld both enjoyed a life in adding 43 for the second wicket but Van Jaarsveld's good fortune expired two balls after giving his first chance when he top-edged a sweep to short fine-leg. Denly, who was dropped on 18, went on to reach 36 from 38 balls with four boundaries, before he too fell to the wiles of Croft.
Beaten in the flight as he advanced to drive, Croft turned one through the gate to peg back off-stump and finish with 3 for 19. Left-arm spinner Dean Cosker, having seen two catches go down, deservedly picked up the scalp of in-form Darren Stevens (10) who missed an attempted lofted drive to be stumped by Mark Wallace.
Kent promoted Mahmood to bat at number four and though he might have gone for two when James Harris downed a difficult diving chance at deep cover, the ploy ultimately worked as the former Pakistan Test all-rounder teamed up with Jones to see Kent home.
With 20 needed off 18 balls, the duo crucially took 12 off Jamie Dalrymple's third over, the 18th of the innings, seven came off the next from Shaun Tait leaving Jones to win it with a crisp off-driven boundary un the final over from Jim Allenby.
Glamorgan's low-key total of 126 for 6 contained only 10 fours and one six as their top order struggled for timing on a tinder dry pitch being used for the third time which helped both Kent spinners Malinga Bandara and Van Jaarsveld.
The Dragons posted 48 for the first wicket through Mark Cosgrove, their top-scorer with 36 from 33 balls and with half their boundaries, and Allenby, who went for 17 in the eighth over after clipping a full toss from Ashley Shaw straight to deep mid-wicket.
Bandara's introduction at The Pavilion End swung the balance Kent's way with an excellent four-over stint of three for 15. The Sri Lankan had Wallace (nought) caught off a top-edged reverse sweep then Tom Maynard (nought) off a miscued slog sweep at long-on.
In his next over Cosgrove, who got under way with two edged boundaries to third man, eventually ran out of luck when his lofted off-drive was superbly held on the run by a diving Denly. Kent's sharp fielding also led to a couple of run outs in the final two overs as Ben Wright (27) and Gareth Rees (nought) were undone by direct hits from Mahmood, following through, and Alex Blake from long-off.