CB40 Match Preview: Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, Bank Holiday Monday, 1.45pm

Friday 24th August 2012

Men’s First Team

CB40 Match Preview: Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, Bank Holiday Monday, 1.45pm

Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, Clydesdale Bank 40 – Group C

St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, Monday, 27 August 2012 – 1.45pm start

Setting the Scene

After Wednesday night’s tense 30-run victory over Yorkshire Carnegie at the St Lawrence Ground, Kent Spitfires are now just one win away from securing a place in the semi-finals of the CB40. Standing in their way are old rivals Sussex Sharks who, with a win, can also qualify for final four. A Bank Holiday thriller awaits, on Monday, as Kent attempt to plot their way to a Lord’s final – taking place on Saturday, 15 September.

The Permutations

If Kent win they will secure top spot in Group C and a home semi-final, as virtue of being one of the two best qualifiers from the group stages. A no-result or tie will also see the Spitfires progress as group winners. The other team in qualification contention from the group is Warwickshire Bears, who face Yorkshire. If the Sharks overcome Kent, then the Bears will have to win their game to deprive Kent a top-two finish. This scenario will mean that Kent go out – based on the fact that Warwickshire have won one more game than Key’s men, as both sides be on 17 points. At Scarborough, however, anything other than a Bears win will see Kent move into the final four – regardless of the result at Canterbury.

Jimmy’s View

Head coach Jimmy Adams provides his thoughts on Kent’s recent CB40 performances and looks ahead to Monday’s big game:

"The last few matches have all been like finals and this is another so we know that we will have to play well. We have got home advantage, which helps. The crowd really got behind us against Derbyshire and Yorkshire and we need the same again.

It was great to see Rob score the century against Yorkshire. He has been hitting the ball very well in the nets and produced a great knock for the side. It was a good team win against Yorkshire.

All reports are that we have a fully fit side to choose from. It’s my first season with the Club so it would mean a lot to reach the knockout stage of the CB40."

Current Form

Kent are in good form in this competition, having won their last five games – culminating in Wednesday night’s win over Andrew Gale’s Yorkshire at Canterbury. After being put in, the home side posted 226 for five after a fine century from the skipper. The experienced opener held the innings together and struck two sixes during his 109 ball knock of 101. Darren Stevens (43) and Sam Northeast (26) provided the support but some fine death bowling from Tykes quick Moin Ashraf (2-36) kept the total in check. In reply, the visitors looked to be cruising to victory, after a half-century from Gale took them to 117 for two.

However, James Tredwell then showed his class to account for Adam Lyth and Adil Rashid in the same over as the game remained in the balance. The defining moment came when Tredwell returned to pick up the wicket of Gale, prancing down the wicket – to allow Geraint Jones to complete the stumping, before Stevens extracted an edge out of Gary Ballance to reduce Yorkshire to 160 for six. In the end, Kent ran out comfortable winners with Matt Coles (3-25) bouncing back from an expensive first spell to mop up the tail and keep the Club’s qualification dreams firmly in their own hands.

Sussex have been victorious in their previous two outings and pulled off a miraculous win against Yorkshire, on Sunday, to keep them in qualification contention. Chasing a revised total of 207, off 28 overs, the Sharks looked dead and buried when they needed 16 off the final over, but they somehow managed to scrape to a last ball victory as former Kent man Amjad Khan smashed a match winning 16 – off just six balls.

Previous CB40 meeting at Canterbury, Clydesdale Bank 40: Kent v Sussex

Sunday, 22 May 2011 at Canterbury, Sussex beat Kent by 19 runs

Rob Key’s Kent Spitfires were at the wrong end of a brutal century from Sussex Sharks opener Chris Nash as the side from the South Coast edged out their local rivals by 19 runs, in an entertaining clash at the St Lawrence Ground.

Nash, well-known for his belligerence at the top of the order, was in fine form. He carried his bat through the Sharks innings to post a superb unbeaten 124 in a total of 249.

The right-hander’s main accomplice was Luke Wright and the duo added 77 for the second wicket inside 12 overs as Sussex looked set to post a massive total. However, the home side fought back well and, after an incredible final over, which saw four wickets fall, Kent remained in the game at the halfway stage. This was thanks largely to Azhar Mahmood (3-52) plus James Tredwell and Adam Ball – who picked up two wickets each.

Captain Key anchored the run chase; his stoic 59 off 81-balls allowed others to bat around him, but the Spitfires lost wickets regularly as Darren Stevens (43), Geraint Jones (27) and Martin van Jaarsveld (24) all got starts but failed to go on and finish the job. When Key fell with ten overs to go, with the score at 157 for five, Kent’s tail tried in vain to scramble towards their target but Rana Naved (2-56) and Monty Panesar (2-28) proved too wily as Sharks claimed the points to leave the home side behind the pace in Group A.


Darren Stevens’ dismissal of Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance on Wednesday took him to the top of the 2012 CB40 wicket-taking rankings. The medium-pacer has claimed 19 scalps, at an average of 14.47. Matt Coles, after claiming three wickets against the Tykes, sits in third position – having taken 17 victims. The potency of Kent’s attack has been a highlight of their CB40 campaign.

For the Sharks, Chris Liddle has impressed with the ball, taking 14 wickets with his left-arm swing bowling. Former Kent man Amjad Khan has also enjoyed a productive one-day season, bagging ten victims.

The Spitfires CB40 batting linchpin has been 21 year-old Sam Billings. The talented opening batsman has amassed 306 runs at an average of 51, including a stunning 143 against Derbyshire earlier in the month. Captain Rob Key is also in fine form, after leading the way with a superb 101 against Yorkshire.

Key’s Sussex equivalent – Ed Joyce – has also led the way for his county after taking over the captaincy from Michael Yardy. The left-hander has posted 249 runs, to put him at the top of the rankings. Sussex can also rely on a plethora of big-hitters with Chris Nash, Luke Wright – recently recalled to the England t20 squad – and Matt Prior, if released to play by England, all capable of being destructive on their day.

Come and show your support for the boys on Monday in this all important clash at the St Lawrence Ground. Gates open at 11.45am ahead of a 1.45pm start time. Click here to save with pre-purchase print at home tickets, available until gates open on Monday.

Team news to follow.