Twenty20 Cup - Quarter Final
Kent 175-6 (D I Stevens 69) v Warwickshire 133-8
Kent beat Warwickshire by 42 runs
Kent remain on course to retain the Twenty20 Cup after cruising through to finals day with a 42-run win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The quarter-final tie finally took place on Thursday night after being delayed 24 hours due to heavy rain in the Midlands, with the defending champions put into bat in taxing conditions after losing the toss.
An opening stand of 37 between Joe Denly and Rob Key got the Spitfires off to an excellent start only for a mid-innings collapse to hamper their progress.
After Chris Martin had removed Denly for 27, Neil Carter had visiting skipper Key (15) caught by Jim Troughton and Tim Groenewald dismissed Matthew Walker for just one.
Without the ever-reliable Martin van Jaarsveld in their line-up, Yasir Arafat was promoted up the order, a move that failed to pay off as the Pakistan international made just 10.
When Justin Kemp was bowled by leg spinner Ian Salisbury, the away side found themselves 98-5 and in danger of setting a sub-standard target.
However, a stand of 60 helped get the innings back on track, Darren Stevens leading the recovery with an excellent 69 from just 32 balls, his crucial knock including six fours and five sixes.
He was given excellent support by veteran all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who finished up unbeaten on 25 as Kent got up to 175-6 from their 20 overs.
Warwickshire's reply suffered an early blow when they lost Carter with just five on the board, the big-hitting opener one of three victims for seamer Arafat.
Jonathan Trott and Troughton tried to repair the damage until both fell in the space of two runs, and when skipper Darren Maddy was run out for 27, the home side were in serious trouble.
Ant Botha - who had earlier picked up 1-14 in three overs with his off-spin before strangely being taken out of the attack - tried to keep up with the run-rate, hitting two fours and the same number of sixes in his 35.
In the end his efforts were in vain, though, Stevens wrapping up the man-of-the-match award by taking 2-29 as the hosts finished well short on 133-8.