Imran Qayyum shredded Somerset with five wickets and a run-out as Kent recorded a 41-run win in Saturday evening’s Vitality Blast match.
The spinner (5-21) dismissed Tom Banton for 28 to trigger a Somerset collapse from 54-1 to 74-7 and then 124 all out as the visitors failed to top Kent’s 165-9 and slipped to an 11th straight T20 defeat against their rivals.
Qayyum completed his five-for – the first by a Kent spinner in T20 – when he had opposition skipper Tom Abell stumped brilliantly by wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson.
Robinson also fired with the bat on his T20 debut, top-scoring with 53 and putting on 61 with Mohammad Nabi (34 off 20) for Kent’s third wicket after the side had slipped to 7-2 after 1.2 overs.
Roelof van der Merwe (3-19) made Robinson one of his three victims, shortly before the glaring sun caused a brief stoppage, and Kent were 137-8 with two overs to go.
However, Qayyum (13no off 6) and Hardus Viljoen (15 off 7) blazed a further 28 runs to take Kent to a total that proved beyond Somerset, despite late runs from the Overton twins.
Viljoen bowled Babar Azam, the top-ranked batsman in international T20 cricket, for just seven in the run chase but Somerset – who beat Glamorgan by eight wickets in their first Blast game on Thursday – were in a strong position with Banton and Peter Trego (20) at the crease
Qayyum, though, ripped through the line-up, dismissing Banton, Trego, James Hildreth, Abell and Van der Merwe and also running out Tom Lammonby from midwicket.
Nabi also produced a superb catch on the boundary to dismiss Jamie Overton for 19, the Afghanistan international keeping his foot just inside the rope.