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CB40: Durham v Kent match preview

Thursday 2nd September 2010

Durham Dynamos v Kent Spitfires
Clydesdale Bank 40 – Group C
Saturday, 4 September 2010. 12.45pm start
Emirates Riverside, Chester-Le-Street

Kent“s whistle-stop tour of the country comes to an end on Saturday when they travel to the Emirates Riverside to take on the Durham Dynamos in their final Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C match. The Spitfires have enjoyed a fine late run in this competition and will be looking to go out on a high.

Rob Key“s men currently sit in third position in the group after winning their previous three games, and two points in the north east could see them finish as high as second in the group. Unfortunately, with the top two – Warwickshire Bears and Nottinghamshire Outlaws – playing each in their final match, qualification for a semi-final berth is out of the question but a win will go a long way to building confidence for the two crucial remaining LV=CC fixtures Kent have this season as they chase division one survival.

Last time out in this competition the Spitfires brushed aside the Leicestershire Foxes in a one-sided affair at Grace Road. Despite making a flying start, batting first, the Foxes soon wilted as Matt Coles (3-27) and two wickets apiece for Simon Cook (pictured) and Malinga Bandara ran through the Leicester card as the home side were bowled out for 182. Openers Joe Denly and Key got the run chase off to a fine start, putting on 86 for the first wicket inside 15 overs. A small wobble saw them fall to 112 for four but, in the end, an unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 73 between Darren Stevens (42) and Alex Blake (41) saw the visitors home by six wickets with 40 balls remaining.

The Dynamos, on the other-hand, ended up on the wrong end of a high-scoring affair at Trent Bridge in their previous outing, as the Nottinghamshire Outlaws claimed a narrow three run victory to keep their qualification hopes alive. The home side batted first and racked up 257 for seven in their allotted overs. Samit Patel“s 75 and a 51-ball 66 from skipper Chris Read powered the total as Chris Rushworth (2-41) was the most productive of the Durham bowlers. The Dynamos were always behind the rate in their chase but managed to just about keep in touch throughout. Contributions from Gordon Muchall (47), Ben Harmison (46) and Ben Stokes (39) got them close but ultimately they fell short as Ryan Sidebottom and Darren Pattinson shared six wickets for the Outlaws.

Back in May, the corresponding fixture at the St Lawrence Ground was abandoned without a ball being bowled as torrential rain hit Canterbury. With the weather set fair for this weekend, the Spitfires will be gunning for victory ahead of next week“s crucial LV=CC match against Hampshire, starting at the St Lawrence Ground on Tuesday.

Team director Paul Farbrace has made two changes to the squad that has been involved in all three away matches thus far this week. In comes all-rounder Paul Muchall, a 23 year-old former MCC Young Cricketer, and Adam Ball could be in line for his first-team debut. The 17 year-old all-rounder, who signed his first professional contract at the St Lawrence Ground last winter, has impressed in the England under-19“s setup this term and, after becoming a regular for the Kent second XI, he will now look to make a name for himself in the first-team. They come into the side in place of Matt Coles and Simon Cook.

Kent (from): Key (C), Denly, van Jaarsveld, Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Northeast, Tredwell, P. Muchall, Ball, Bandara, Nel

Picture:Getty Images