Kent 228 for 3 (Bell-Drummond 111, Muyeye 50) Middlesex 173 (Hollman 48, Linde 3-21, Evison 3-25, Stewart 3-35) by 55 runs
The Spitfire Ground was sold out on a sweltering Friday night, with over 5,000 packed in to watch the hosts, resurgent after five consecutive wins, take on a Middlesex side who were still bottom of the South Group, despite Thursday night’s miracle.
The run-rate slowed slightly and Joe Denly was on 12 when Martin Andersson missed a difficult chance to catch him off Hollman, but it picked up again as Bell-Drummond reached his second Blast century with a classic cover drive for four off Greatwood and when Ryan Higgins’ 17th over only went for three it felt like a minor triumph for the visitors.
Bell-Drummond was one short of his best Blast score when he hoicked Max Harris to Jack Davies at square leg and he departed to a standing ovation.
Denly went for 30 driving Higgins to Andersson at long on but Sam Billings smashed 22 off the final over, meaning Middlesex had conceded exactly the same number of runs they did a week ago when Kent won the reverse fixture at Lord’s.
Linde then took two wickets in the eighth over: Higgins played on to the first ball before John Simpson fell to a diving catch by Evison on the boundary. Stephen Eskinazi went for 32, flicking Evison to Grant Stewart and Davies rattled off a quick 24 before he was lbw to the same bowler.
Hollman and de Caires went down fighting, plundering 23 from Michael Hogan’s 14th over and putting on 60 for the seventh wicket, but a nightmarish 16th over for Stewart ended with Hollman caught in the deep by Jordan Cox off the tenth and final delivery.
At the start of his next over Stewart had de Caires caught on the boundary by Jack Leaning and the bowler’s redemption was complete when Harris was taken just inside the rope by Cox.
The rout was sealed when Greatwood chipped Agar to Evison and Kent, having seemed dead and buried little more than a fortnight ago, stand every chance of reaching the knock-out stages.