FP t20: Kent Spitfires v Middlesex Panthers match preview

Wednesday 9th June 2010

Kent Spitfires v Middlesex Panthers
Friends Provident t20 – South Division
Friday, 11 June 2010. 5.30pm start
St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

The Kent Spitfires will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Friends Provident t20 competition when they welcome the Middlesex Panthers to Canterbury on Friday evening.

After two successive defeats at the hands of the Hampshire Royals and Sussex Sharks, Rob Key“s men need to find their winning touch again as they look to progress through to the quarter-finals from the tough south division. The narrow defeat at the hands of the Sharks, at Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday, still produced some positives with Darren Stevens (pictured, being congratulated by James Tredwell) continuing his scintillating form. The all-rounder cracked another purposeful half-century and Malinga Bandara took his first t20 wickets for the county with the ball.

On Friday, at Canterbury, the Spitfires take on a Middlesex side also desperate for the points having lost their opening two games – their last to a Kieron Pollard inspired Somerset Sabres by five wickets. The West Indian bludgeoned 89, from just 45 balls, to condemn the Panthers to defeat.

Shaun Udal“s side have made their intentions clear in this season“s tournament by recruiting Australian duo Adam Gilchrist and Dave Warner to smash their way to success. However, so far Gilchrist hasn“t fired in his opening two games.

Warner has now arrived in the UK and should make his debut at the St Lawrence Ground. The London outfit still possess a battery of talent including England batsmen Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan and former Kent star Neil Dexter, but with victory a must the Spitfires will be gunning for glory.

Last season Middlesex, the then title-holders, had a disastrous campaign. A year after beating Kent in the 2008 final, they finished bottom of their qualifying group – something the Spitfires took full advantage of as they recorded two victories over their rivals, en-route to finals day at Edgbaston.

In the first meeting at Lord“s, Kent dominated their opponents in every department. Batting first the Spitfires racked up 191-3, as Martin van Jaarsveld“s 75 was complimented by a typically brutal 59 off 26 balls from Stevens. The home side were never in the chase as they stumbled to 129-8 as Kent took victory by 62 runs. Robbie Joseph, Azhar Mahmood, Simon Cook and James Tredwell all chipped in with two wickets apiece.

In the return fixture, Kent re-affirmed their dominance. On this occasion the visitors batted first and struggled to a meagre 104-6 with Joseph returning figures of 2-14. Despite losing six wickets in the run chase Key“s men never seemed threatened as Ryan McLaren“s 31 helped ease the home side to victory with ten balls remaining.

With a big crowd expected at the St Lawrence Ground tomorrow, make sure you snap up your ticket early to help cheer the Spitfires onto a valuable victory!

With Amjad Khan and Robbie Joseph still injured, Kent team director Paul Farbrace has selected an unchanged 12 for the visit of the Middlesex Panthers.

Kent: Key (C), Denly, van Jaarsveld, G Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Northeast, Coles, A Mahmood, Tredwell, Bandara, Cook

Tickets are still available for the big game and you can purchase on the gate. The price is £25 for adults and £10 for juniors. A bumper crowd is expected so please arrive early. Gates open at 3.30pm, with the action beginning at 5.30.

After our game against the Middlesex Panthers, the Kent Spitfires still have a further six home group matches. You can book tickets, and take advantage of our seven day in-advance ticket offer, by clicking here.

Picture:Sarah Ansell