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Imran Qayyum in Kent squad to play Northants

Saturday 14th May 2016

Men’s First Team

Imran Qayyum could make his Specsavers County Championship debut against Northamptonshire as he replaces injured spinner Adam Riley in the squad.

The left-arm spinner won his second XI cap last month and is called up following Riley's side strain in this week's draw against Gloucestershire.

Batsman Sean Dickson returns to the squad after a hand injury and there are places for Adam Ball and Ivan Thomas in Kent's 13-man squad as Matt Coles sits out the final game of a two-match suspension.

Kent captain Sam Northeast said: “The batting and bowling is coming together and improving week-on-week.

“We’ve got a squad in form at the moment which makes my life harder but I’d prefer to have guys playing well than not.

“The way we are playing our cricket is great: to score 400 twice is a great effort.

“It’s nice to see the averages of the squad compared to last year: guys are averaging 50-plus at the moment as opposed to 20 last year which is great.

“Nothing’s easy at the moment. We seem to lose a bowler every game and rain has got in the way.

“Calum Haggett and Matt Hunn have put their hand up and made an impact without us having to rely on the older heads of Mitch Claydon and Darren Stevens."

The hosts include former England Test spinner Monty Panesar and Nottinghamshire's Jake Libby who has extended his loan at Northants.

Kent squad: 17 Sam Northeast (c), 23 Daniel Bell-Drummond, 48 Tom Latham, 6 Joe Denly, 58 Sean Dickson, 3 Darren Stevens, 24 Adam Ball, 12 Adam Rouse (wk), 25 Calum Haggett, 14 Matt Hunn, 5 Ivan Thomas, 8 Mitchell Claydon, 11 Imran Qayyum.

Northants squad: Wakely (C), Azharullah, Cobb, Crook, Duckett, Keogh, Levi, Libby, Rossington (W), Kleinveldt, Panesar, Stone, Sanderson.

NORTHANTS V KENT STATS

Kent come into this game on a seven-game unbeaten run (W2 D5), their last defeat came at the hands of Northamptonshire in August 2015.

Azharullah (Northamptonshire) posted 58* when these sides last faced off in August 2015; the only time he’s ever reached 50 in first-class cricket.

Sam Northeast (Kent) comes into this game on the back of his highest ever first-class score (189 v Gloucestershire).

Rory Kleinveldt (Northamptonshire) has the highest strike rate of any batsman to record 3+ innings this season (113.5, 160 runs across five innings).