Skip to main content

Denly a doubt as the Spitfires prepare for Surrey Lions test

Wednesday 16th June 2010

Surrey Lions v Kent Spitfires
Friends Provident t20 – South Division
Friday, 18 June 2010 – 4pm start
The Brit Oval, London

The Kent Spitfires travel to London to take on their old adversaries, the Surrey Lions, in their latest crucial t20 group match.

With big-spending Surrey currently rooted to the bottom of the south division, and Rob Key“s men sitting just a win off second spot, the points are vital for both sides so an electric atmosphere is expected at the Brit Oval.

Kent will be in high spirits after recording their highest ever t20 score against Gloucestershire Gladiators last week. Joe Denly (48), Rob Key (44) and Alex Blake (33) all contributed as the Spitfires posted a mammoth 217. The rest of the side then backed up the batters in the field to restrict the home side to 181. Matt Coles and Simon Cook took three wickets apiece to lead last year“s semi-finalists to a 36-run victory.

The Lions have gone all out in player recruitment for this season“s tournament with former Kent-man Andrew Symonds and Pakistani star Younis Khan providing the overseas muscle, joining the evergreen Mark Ramprakash, England Lions prospect Steven Davies and captain Rory Hamilton-Brown in an all-star line-up. However the Lions haven“t really roared thus far, having won just one of their opening four games against the Somerset Sabres.

Last time out Hamilton-Brown“s team were at the wrong end of a high-scoring encounter at the Rose Bowl against the Hampshire Royals. The home side batted first and, thanks to a stunning 65-ball 101 from opener Jimmy Adams, posted 201-2. Ramprakash led a valiant response with 61 but, in the end, they fell ten runs short to leave them propping up the table.

Last season, while the Spitfires topped the south division en-route to finals day, Surrey only won two of their ten group matches and crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle with Kent inflicting two defeats on the Kennington outfit. The first clash at the Brit Oval was a thriller. Kent made 168-6 off their allotted overs as Martin van Jaarsveld chipped in with 54 to help post a solid total. In reply Surrey looked to be cruising to victory, thanks to 62 from Usman Afzaal, but the home side then hit the self destruct button and, with the help of three run-outs, Kent took victory by just one run with two balls to spare as Justin Kemp kept a cool head to run-out Jade Dernbach in the final over.

The return fixture at Beckenham was a more sedate affair as both sides knew their group fate. Kent again batted first and another van Jaarsveld half-century (64), along with 47 from Geraint Jones, helped them up to 194-7. A youthful surrey batting line-up were plucky in their reply with all of their top-six contributing more than twenty but, in the end, Ryan McLaren“s 4-37 led Kent to a 16 run victory.

Kent team director Paul Farbrace is hoping to go with an unchanged 12 but Joe Denly (pictured)might be forced to miss out with a calf strain, sustained fielding in the win against Gloucestershire. There is the chance Amjad Khan could be available, after his hamstring injury, so he is named in the following 13-man squad: Denly, Key (C), van Jaarsveld, Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Tredwell, Mahmood, Coles, Bandara, Cook, Goodman, Khan.

After our game against the Surrey Lions at the Brit Oval, the Kent Spitfires have back-to-back t20 matches at Beckenham. Rob Key“s Spitfires play the Somerset Sabres on Sunday, 20 June and then play the reverse fixture against Surrey on the following Wednesday.

You can book tickets, and take advantage of our seven day in-advance ticket offer, by clicking here.

Picture:Sarah Ansell