Ferley previews Scottish Saltires FPT tie

Saturday 16th May 2009

THE Kent Spitfires play their penultimate Friends Provident group match tomorrow, knowing victory could move them up to second spot. The Spitfires visit bottom-of-the-table Scottish Saltires, looking for a fourth win in Group B.

Left-arm spinner Rob Ferley has played a key role in the six matches to date and he is hoping for a final flourish in their final two group matches: ’I think we need to win both of our remaining games to reach the knockout stages. If we play to our optimum, against Scotland and Warwickshire, then we obviously stand a good chance of doing that.’

Kent play the Warwickshire Bears in their final group game on Wednesday. Before that, it“s the Scottish Saltires. So how does Ferley rate them as opponents? ’They have some good players at the top of the order but they don’t have the strength-in-depth of some of the other teams in the group. Gavin Hamilton is still a good player but the key is to take early wickets and put pressure on them. If we can do that, and play well ourselves, then we will win the game.’

The spin bowler, who rejoined Kent from Nottinghamshire at the start of the season, is now getting back to full-fitness after a knee injury. So how are things progressing? ’The knee is feeling fine. It’s getting stronger day-by-day and it’s not affecting me when I bowl. I’m still not back to my best in the field but I’m progressing nicely so I’m naturally keen to keep playing and contributing.’

Kent’s Director of Cricket, Graham Ford, is back in the UK after a frustrating hold-up with his entry visa had forced him to miss the opening weeks of the season. Ferley is clearly pleased to have the South African back: ’Fordie is a deep thinker and the place is stronger when he is around so it“s good to have him back. Simon Willis did a great job in his absence. It was tough for him but he did a great job and we obviously did well with him in charge.’

The Somerset Sabres top the group and – with six wins from seven – are favourites to finish as winners of Group B. The fight for second spot is between the Spitfires, the Middlesex Panthers and the Warwickshire Bears. Ferley clearly rates Somerset as a top side: ’They have enjoyed a good season so far and they have a strong side. It looks like they will win it but second place is well up for grabs. Tomorrow’s game between Warwickshire and Middlesex will be an interesting one. We need to beat Scotland and then it makes Wednesday“s game with Warwickshire a real important one.’

The Kent Spitfires have named an unchanged 12 for the game: Rob Key (C), Joe Denly, Martin van Jaarsveld, Geraint Jones (W), Justin Kemp, James Tredwell, Azhar Mahmood, Wayne Parnell, Rob Ferley, Simon Cook, Rob Joseph and James Hockley.