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Two out of three ain't bad for Surrey

Surrey made it two wins from three Friends Life t20 South Group matches when beating Kent Spitfires by 31 runs at Canterbury on the back of a second brilliant bowling performance inside three days.

As they had in victory against Sussex on Friday night, Jade Dernbach and Azhar Mahmood led the way when Kent only managed 145 for nine in reply to Surrey’s 176 for three – an effort that was built around 95 not out from Steven Davies.

At the halfway point, Kent seemed on course at 87 for two with Sam Northeast and Darren Stevens rattling along in a third-wicket stand that was to bring 55 runs in seven overs.

But when Stevens was lbw to Jon Lewis for 30, from just 17 balls with two sixes, the Kent innings fell away alarmingly with seven wickets going down for 46 runs in eight overs.

Azhar, playing against his former county, struck a vital blow midway through the collapse by bowling opener Northeast for 61 from 53 balls, an innings which contained two sixes and five fours.

He also had Sam Billings caught for one early on to finish with 2-22 from four overs while Dernbach, who bowled James Tredwell and had Mitchell Claydon caught on the long-off boundary in the final over after having Rob Key taken at long-on for 17 in his first spell, ended up with 3-22.

Kent's batsmen had no answer to their opponents' accuracy and variety with Zander de Bruyn also chipping in with a useful 2-24, having Alex Blake caught on the deep midwicket rope and Matt Coles bowled first ball aiming a desperate swipe.

Captain Gareth Batty snared Ben Harmison with his off-spin, snaffled at long-on, meaning Kent have now lost their first two games in the group.

Davies batted throughout the Surrey innings, swinging off-spinner Adam Riley for six as the 100 came up in the 13th over and also hitting 12 fours. He shared in stands of 66 with Jason Roy, who hit 16, 47 alongside Ricky Ponting and 57 with Glenn Maxwell.

Ponting, given a generous welcome by a 4,000 crowd, made 19 from 17 balls before skying an attempted big hit against Coles, who did superbly to run back and get under a swirling ball to complete a diving catch.

The former Australia captain did hit one six out of the ground, high over the short boundary at long-leg.

Coles was the pick of the Kent attack, picking up 2-20 from a four-over spell in the middle of the innings.

Maxwell injected some much-needed urgency into the Surrey batting effort; warming up with a straight four off Tredwell and then a pull for six off the spinner, the Australian all-rounder later hit Claydon wide of long-on for a massive maximum before mis-hitting to extra cover in the last over for an 18-ball 32.

Azhar swung the only ball he faced, from Claydon, for six over long-on to give Surrey 95 runs from the second half of their innings.

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