Azhar and van Jaarsveld see Kent home
Azhar Mahmood and Martin van Jaarsveld played starring roles as Kent won their Friends Life t20 clash with Surrey by six wickets at Beckenham.
The experienced duo added 112 in 13 overs for Kent’s third wicket after Dirk Nannes had bowled both Rob Key and Joe Denly in his explosive opening over.
Surrey’s total of 150 for four was based on a stand of 103 in 14 overs by Tom Maynard and Zander de Bruyn which was dominated by 22-year-old Maynard, who hit 76 from 46 balls with four sixes and five fours.
But Van Jaarsveld, with a 39-ball 62, and Azhar - who added 49 from 36 balls to his bowling figures of 2-26 - were equal to the task.
Van Jaarsveld was dropped by Stuart Meaker at mid-on when he had made just 13, and then proceeded to take three fours off the same bowler in the sixth over.
Azhar greeted the introduction of leg-spinner Chris Schofield by swinging two leg-side sixes, and the former Pakistan all-rounder later hit further maximums off Gareth Batty and Meaker.
Van Jaarsveld eventually mis-hit Yasir Arafat to midwicket in the 15th over and when Azhar was caught at long-off in the next over, it was left to Darren Stevens and Sam Northeast to complete Kent’s comfortable victory.
Surrey’s innings made a stuttering start, with Rory Hamilton-Brown and Jason Roy falling cheaply.
Hamilton-Brown hit Wahab Riaz straight to point and Roy carved to third man after making just seven.
Steven Davies did swing Charl Langeveldt for six, but when he was brilliantly caught for 27 by wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, Surrey were struggling at 38 for three.
Maynard upped the pace by taking two sixes off Adam Ball’s final over and Langeveldt was also driven for six as Maynard went to his half-century in 32 balls, but De Bruyn could not match his partner’s ability to accelerate.
Despite coming in during the fifth over and ending on 25 not out, De Bruyn did not hit a single boundary from the 44 balls he faced.
Maynard fell in the 19th over, held at long-on off the returning Azhar, and his efforts at least gave Surrey’s bowlers something to defend.