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Northeast steers Kent home after the rain

Kent 181 for 3 (Northeast 54*) beat Somerset 197 for 7 (Myburgh 64, Davies 62) by seven wickets (DLS method)

Kent skipper Sam Northeast hit the winning boundary and finished with an unbeaten 54 as Kent secured a seven-wicket win under the DLS method over Somerset in a rain-affected NatWest T20 Blast clash at Canterbury.

Pursuing a revised target of 181 from 18 overs, Northeast kept a cool head in cantering to a 26-ball half-century that ensured his side's seventh straight South Group win over their West Country visitors.

Northeast, the Man of the Match, said: "I don't think we bowled that well and their 197 was above the par score, but get off to a flyer in the powerplay when 'Deebs' and Joe played seriously well. They put us in a commanding position. It got a bit nervy after the rain and in the middle there, but it was great to get a win and I hope we can build a bit of momentum from it.

"We had to go hard at the start because it was skidding on nicely and we told them to keep going. I played a few big swats that didn't connect to start with, but it was nice to contribute to the win and hit a few out the middle at the end there."

Originally chasing 198 for their third win of the campaign, Kent were given a flying start as in-form openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly dashed to 77 by the end of the Powerplay.

With the floodlights taking full effect, rain arrived just before 9pm forcing the players off the field with Kent already 30 ahead on the DLS rate. After a rapid mop-up and the loss of two overs, play resumed 38 minutes later with Kent chasing a revised target.

Needing a further 104 from their remaining 12 overs at an asking rate of 8.66 per over Denly and Bell-Drummond faced spin at both ends after the resumption and legspinner Max Waller struck almost immediately by bowling Denly off his pads for 46 as the right-hander flicked to leg.

Waller then had Bell-Drummond caught on the ropes at long-on and, with no pace to work with for their strokes, Kent's batsmen suddenly appeared clueless in their quest for boundaries.

They were given respite with the return of pace bowling. Craig Overton conceded the first boundaries in three overs with Alex Blake cracking four and Sam Northeast six over long on. Then Northeast hit the biggest six of the night as Tim Groenewald conceded 16 to leave Kent needing 50 off their last six overs.

Lewis Gregory returned to clean up Alex Blake and bring in Sam Billings with 29 needed off 20 balls, but Somerset's gamble on giving Waller a fourth over backfired as Northeast plundered 16 runs to move to his fifty with two fours and three maximums in steering Kent over the win line.

Batting first after winning the toss, Somerset posted a testing target of 197 for 6 built around half-centuries from Steven Davies and Johann Myburgh. The third-placed visitors suffered an early blow when Gregory miscued Jimmy Neesham's slow-ball bouncer to mid-on to go to the fifth ball of the night.

Somerset recovered from the loss courtesy of a rare seven in the third over when Billings' needless under-arm shy to the non-striker's end went for four after Jim Allenby and Davies had already scampered three as 18 came off the over, Adam Milne's first.

Davies pulled the first six of the match to raise Somerset's fifty from 26 balls and Allenby repeated the dose two balls later after which Milne, in his first game back after a thigh injury, limped off after sending down two overs for 34 and never returned.

Kent's rookie left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum hit back with his second delivery having Allenby caught behind off a skied sweep, leaving Davies to march to his 23-ball fifty with five fours and two sixes.

Kent kept pace off the ball through legspinner Denly, who also struck in his first over enticing Davies to chip to deep-midwicket and make it 99 for 3 in the 11th over.

Qayyum switched ends only to be biffed for six over extra cover by Myburgh, who then laced one leg-side and into the building site constructing retirement flats adjacent to the ground. James Hildreth threw the kitchen sink at one from Matt Coles to be caught behind but the diminutive Myburgh continued to go big, five sixes on his way to a 27-ball fifty.

Kent continued to feed Myburgh with short stuff and he obliged by clubbing a Coles' half-tracker over the ropes at midwicket but, with 64 to his name off 35 balls, the South African miscued an umpteenth pull to the keeper to give Mitch Claydon deserved figures of 1 for 25 before Peter Trego fell to a last ball run out.

"Steve Davies and Johann Myburgh played great knocks and I felt we were ahead of par with 197 for six, but it wasn't to be," Allenby said. "I think the going off for that break helped us regroup and re-access what we were doing, but the rain clearly didn't help because it made the ball skid on that little bit better.

"We've been playing well and one little blip tonight doesn't mean we're a bad side. We've had four good games in a row, so there is no need to scrap any plans or go back to the drawing board. We'll just get it right next time."