New Zealand enjoy emphatic win
Kent made a decent start through Sam Billings and Daniel Bell-Drummond, pictured
New Zealand warmed up for their two Twenty20 internationals against England next week with an emphatic 42-run win over Kent under lights in Canterbury.
Chasing New Zealand's total of 185 for seven, Kent fell well short of their target despite a poor fielding performance by the tourists who dropped two catches and missed three run-out opportunities.
Kent made a decent start to their pursuit in front of a partisan crowd of 4,000 through young openers Sam Billings, 22, and 19-year-old Daniel Bell-Drummond. The pair added 26 before Billings (nine) miscued a pull-shot against former Kent seamer Ian Butler high into the hands of Nathan McCullum at mid-off.
Kent's acting skipper Sam Northeast had reached only two when he advanced looking to force left-arm spinner Ronnie Hira only to be bowled. At the mid-point Kent, who rested six first-team regulars, were hopelessly behind the asking rate at 56 for two.
With a further 130 required from 60 balls, Darren Stevens teed off by hitting Colin Munro for six into the Frank Woolley Stand. Four balls later, however, Bell-Drummond (31) perished to a skier at mid-wicket when attempting a similar shot, then Ben Harmison (nine) was caught behind by a tumbling Brendon McCullum having made room to cut a short one from Doug Bracewell.
On 41 Stevens was bowled trying heave a Corey Anderson free hit out of the park, but his luck ran out on the very next delivery that was miscued to mid-off.
With the contest as good as over, Fabian Cowdrey, the grandson of former Kent and England skipper Colin and son of Chris Cowdrey, marched in for his first-team debut and showed immediate class with a ramp over fine leg for four against Butler.
Cowdrey finished unbeaten on 20, but Butler hit back by having Alex Blake (12) caught at mid-off to finish with two for 28 as Kent lost Matt Coles to a final over run out to finish well short of their target.
New Zealand coped with bad light, rain and a five for 31 haul by Kent's on-loan Durham seamer Mitchell Claydon to set the hosts a daunting target of 186 at 9.3 an over.
The tourists, who play England twice at The Oval next week, named a strong side for this dress rehearsal, but were made to recover from a poor start at nine for two.