Guptill and Taylor shine in solid workout
New Zealanders 185 for 7 (Guptill 56, Taylor 52, Latham 38, Claydon 5-31) beat Kent 143 (Stevens 41) by 42 runs
The New Zealanders warmed up for the Twenty20 series against England with an efficient 42-run win against Kent on a murky evening in Canterbury. Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor hit half-centuries to leave the home side a demanding chase and they fell well short.
There was cause for Kent pride, however, in the debut of Fabian Cowdrey, the grandson of the former Kent and England captain Colin and son of Chris Cowdrey, who took the Cowdrey name into its third generation in Kent colours.
Guptill and Taylor added 98 in 11 overs after Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum had fallen inside the first two overs to leave New Zealand 9 for 2. Both batsmen cleared the boundary twice, but the significant acceleration came from Tom Latham who clubbed 38 off 18 balls.
Latham was part of the Test squad last month and has been playing for Scotland while not need for the Champions Trophy campaign. Although he did not keep wicket in this match he is an option to take the gloves if McCullum's back causes him problems.
Mitchell Claydon, who is on loan at Kent from Durham, struck regularly in the closing overs having earlier trapped McCullum lbw and finished with 5 for 31.
In reply, Kent struggled from the outset to keep up with a required rate of more than nine an over. Sam Billings pulled to mid-off and Sam Northeast, the captain for the match and who had hit a maiden one-day hundred in the high-scoring YB40 match against Sussex, was bowled by Ronnie Hira as he came down the pitch.
The hero of Kent's chase of 337 against Sussex, Darren Stevens, was given two lives early in his innings and managed to strike three sixes but Kent were always behind the rate.
The youngsters, though, were certainly not overwhelmed with Daniel Bell-Drummond making 31 and Cowdrey marking his first-team debut with 21 off 14 balls which included a ramp shot against Ian Butler.
Most of New Zealand's bowlers chipped in; Hira was especially economical with his four overs costing just 19 and Butler claimed two scalps. Mitchell McClenaghan and Kyle Mills were rested after their efforts in the Champions Trophy.