Azhar Mahmood fires Kent to win over Gloucestershire
|Friends Life t20, Beckenham|
|Kent 167-2 (18.5 overs) beat Gloucestershire 166 (20 overs) by eight wickets|
Azhar Mahmood struck a stunning century for Kent as they beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets.
Mahmood's 106 from only 57 balls helped his side make light work of replying to the visitors' 166 all out.
Gloucestershire's innings was progressing well until Wahab Riaz took five wickets in seven balls including a hat-trick.
Robert Key fell for only five but Joe Denly's solid 50 helped Kent reach 167-2 with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, Gloucestershire openers Hamish Marshall (47) and Kevin O'Brien (34) got them off to a decent start, putting on 77 for the first wicket.
But Riaz's spell dashed the visitors' hopes of scoring heavily during the closing overs as he removed Chris Taylor, Ed Young and Richard Coughtrie in three deliveries.
And he almost repeated that feat in his next over, dismissing Alex Gidman (28) and David Payne in successive balls, before Muttiah Muralitharan managed to survive the hat-trick attempt.
Riaz's display looked set to be the game's stand-out performance until Mahmood set about chasing down Gloucestershire's total with some fine hitting.
Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman told BBC Radio Bristol:
"We had the worst of the conditions. It was really hard for us, we didn't see the rain coming.
"But in reality we should have got another 15 or 20 runs and it proved the difference in the game.
"There were a couple of soft options in the middle, some soft dismissals even in this form of game, and it's frustrating."