Visiting skipper Sam Northeast helped Kent to a 12-run NatWest T20 Blast group win at The Cooper Associates County Ground.
The visitors posted 187 for five after winning the toss and Northeast top-scored with 75 off 42 balls, with nine fours and two sixes while Roelof van der Merwe was the most economical Somerset bowler, conceding just 28 from his four overs.
In reply, the hosts reached 175 for nine with Peter Trego scoring 63 off just 34 balls, with eight fours and three sixes.
After a slight delay because of rain, the match started with no overs lost and Kent were soon on the attack, taking 17 off the third over bowled by Jamie Overton. Tom Latham had contributed 12 to an opening stand of 27 with Denly when chipping Lewis Gregory (two for 32) straight to Jim Allenby at mid-wicket. Denly hit the first six of the game off van der Merwe before Northeast smashed four successive boundaries off Tim Groenewald at the start of the sixth over, which ended with Kent on 59 for one from the powerplay.
The score had reached 85 when Denly was caught and bowled by Max Waller, diving to his right. Northeast then went to his half-century with a six off Overton in the 12th over, having faced 27 balls and hit seven fours and a six. The following over from Groenewald saw Sam Billings brilliantly caught on the mid-wicket boundary by van der Merwe for 14.
Northeast finally fell to Overton in the 17th over, but by then Kent were on course for a challenging score.
Somerset’s reply started badly as openers Johann Myburgh and Mahela Jayawardene fell in the first 19 balls, to Kagiso Rabada and Stevens respectively. However, Trego was in typically aggressive mood against his old county, counter attacking with a six off Mitch Claydon and two more maximums off the following over from David Griffiths as Somerset matched Kent’s total of 59 off the powerplay.
Trego went to fifty off 28 balls, with six fours and three sixes. Michael Leask was reprieved on nought as, having been given out stumped by Billings off Cowdrey, he was sportingly recalled by the Kent wicketkeeper, who had not been in control of the ball.
The key moment came in the 13th over when Trego attempted another six off Cowdrey and was caught at long-off by Latham. Leask was run out going for a second off Cowdrey before Stevens bowled Gregory with the first ball of the 16th over and Overton with the last, conceding only four runs in between.
Somerset required 13 an over off the last four and despite an entertaining cameo from van der Merwe, a further clatter of wickets left them short.
After the match Peter Trego said: “The result was really disappointing for us. I think that they got 20 runs more than they ought to. However it was a still a score that we would back ourselves to get but unfortunately individually we didn’t go on and get that 80 or 90 and that’s my frustration.
“On our day I think that we can beat the top teams in the division but we keep on having these blips, far too many of them. I’m always very confident that man for man we can do the job, but we obviously are not doing it consistently enough. When we fire we are a very hard team to beat but those days aren’t happening enough.”
Pete added: “We are all given opportunities to wear the shirt and do it proud but unfortunately we are not doing enough of it at the moment. We have all got to work a lot harder and execute our skills a lot better, because on our day we are awesome but there are far too many off days.”