KENT V SURREY - NatWest T20 Blast - 15 July 2016
Surrey 180-8 (20 overs). Kent 181-2 (19.4 Overs). Kent won by 8 wickets.

There were no press-ups on the square but Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond threw off his helmet and leapt, punching the air after his unbeaten 112 eased Spitfires to an eight-wicket NatWest T20 Blast win over Surrey in Tunbridge Wells.

The former Millfield School and England Under-19 opener captivated a 5,000 sell-out crowd at the Royal Spa Town venue with a maiden List A hundred that helped post Kent's sixth south group win that kept his side's qualification hopes alive.

Needing 181 for victory at an asking rate of 9.1 an over for victory, Kent made a miserable start when Joe Denly went for a first ball duck when playing back to Sam Curran's second ball of the night.

In his first game back and having been sidelined for three weeks with a hand injury, Bell-Drummond took up the attack, cleverly using the pace of the ball to steer the ball to all parts.

The right-hander might have gone for 31 when Tom Curran downed a leg-side clip at mid-wicket, but he cashed in by lofting a straight six later in Jade Dernbach's over as Kent reached 57 for one in their powerplay.

Sam Northeast then launched a leg-side six off Zafar Ansari as he and Bell-Drummond eased to a second-wicket record in matches against Surrey beating the 92 set by Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld at The Oval in 2009.

Bell-Drummond raised his 50 from 28 balls, Northeast needed 32 to reach the same milestone with four fours and two sixes and the records continued as the pair posted Kent's highest second-wicket T20 stand against any county, beating the 135 raised by Denly and Azhar Mahmood against Gloucestershire at Beckenham in 2011, which had been equalled in 2014 by Rob Key and Northeast against Somerset in Canterbury.

The fun ended when Northeast (57) went back to cut Ansari only to edge to the keeper, but their partnership of 151 had eclipsed, by one run, Kent's record T20 stand for any wicket against all counties set by Bell-Drummond and Denly against Somerset in May.

Bell-Drummond - who also posted his 1,000th T20 career run during the innings - marched on to his maiden limited overs hundred by pulling his 58th delivery from Gareth Batty through mid-wicket for his 14th four.

With three needed off the final over, Bell-Drummond lent on his bat with 112 to his name at the non-striker's end to watch Sam Billings clip the winning boundary with two balls to spare.

At the start of the night Jason Roy gave Surrey a flying start after they chose to bat only for Kent's wily bowling attack to claw back the run rate in the middle overs and restrict them to 180 for eight.

Roy plundered an early boundary off Darren Stevens then a hat-trick of sixes off the first over of the night by Kagiso Rabada, the second of which caused a stir in the CAMRA real ale marquee.

Dominating the strike, Roy raced to a 28 ball 50 with five fours and four maximums, but miscued the next ball from Stevens to Rabada at mid-off.

Starved of the strike, Aaron Finch (7) made a desperate attempt to clear the ropes against David Griffiths only to pick out Rabada at deep mid-wicket as Surrey ended their powerplay overs on 69 for two.

James Tredwell came on at the Pavilion End and saw his first delivery sail out of the park, but the shrewd off-spinner barely put a foot wrong thereafter turning the innings on its head with a four-over stint of three for 32.

Tredwell held one back to deceive and bowl Tom Curran (12) then Steven Davies (23) yorked himself when trying to advance down the pitch to make it 108 for four.

Lured by the short, straight boundary Dominic Sibley (14) also marched down the pitch heaving at Tredwell only to be stumped by Sam Billings.

Having conceded 21 off his opening over, Rabada - the 21-year-old South Africa firebrand, returned with his dander up to york Rory Burns (10) and concede only 10 runs off his final three overs.

With Surrey's run rate plummeting Chris Morris (25) called for a second run to deep mid-wicket and was run out by Adam Ball's throw from the deep then, in the final over, Sam Curran (19) was bowled by Mitch Claydon a Surrey fell well short of their anticipated total.

Spitfires hero and man-of-the match Daniel Bell-Drummond, who dedicated his innings to Michael Carberry, the Hampshire batsman facing a battle with cancer who mentored him during his youth, said: "To play like that after three weeks out through injury was amazing, it was beyond my wildest dreams. I started the week seeing a specialist about my thumb injury and ended it scoring my maiden T20 hundred. It was a brilliant feeling.

"I've missed playing but hopefully that knock showed the hunger I have. I'm feeling a lot fresher than the rest of the lads because they've been toiling in the dirt while I've been trying to shake off this injury. We had training yesterday and I stayed behind for an extra session because I felt a little undercooked, needless to say, the other guys were thinking 'there's no need for that'.

"Jason Roy got them off to a brilliant start and Davies and the Currans carried it on, but we did really well to pull it back through James Tredwell and then Sam and I almost saw it home."

Surrey's spinner Zafar Ansari said the visitors felt their total of 180 for eight was 20 short of a par score. "No one played badly but, when the pressure was on to up the tempo, nobody seemed able to get the crucial boundary away when we needed it," he said.

"We weren't ever really in a position to build a partnership that might have got us nearer to 200. But all credit to Daniel Bell-Drummond. All our bowlers said it felt like he knew where they were going to bowl it. It all went his way, there was no luck, it was a high quality innings."