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Kent Spitfires to play Essex Eagles in 50-over opener at Tunbridge Wells

Saturday 25th July 2015

Kent Spitfires begin their Royal London One-Day Cup season at Tunbridge Wells against Essex Eagles on Sunday (10.30am start).

The hosts lead the race for the Mike Denness Challenge Shield after home wins in the NatWest T20 Blast and LV= County Championship and must avoid defeat to lift the trophy, created in honour fo the former Kent and Essex batsman.

Head coach Jimmy Adams said: “Our players are a year older and wiser now, so to my mind there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be looking to do well in this competition.

“The guys have moved on from last year’s semi-final defeat against Warwickshire up at Edgbaston; the time for being stung by that result has passed, but it will still help to motivate us. The important thing is what we have all learned from it and the lessons we have taken from that entire tournament.

“In Twenty20, a game can slip away from you in the space of three overs but the players understand that over the course of 50 overs they will have more time and, with that time, more decisions to make for themselves.”

Kent Spitfires squad v Essex Eagles: 17. Sam Northeast (c), 23 Daniel Bell-Drummond, 6. Joe Denly, 30. Fabian Cowdrey, 3. Darren Stevens, 10. Alex Blake, 20. Sam Billings, 26. Matt Coles, 15. James Tredwell, 8. Mitch Claydon, 14. Matt Hunn, 5. Ivan Thomas.

Essex Eagles squad: Ryan ten Doeschate (27, c), Jesse Ryder (76), Mark Pettini (24), Tom Westley (21), Ravi Bopara (25), James Foster (7, wk), Kishen Velani (8), Graham Napier (17), David Masters (9), Reece Topley (6), Nick Browne (10), Jamie Porter (44), Aron Nijjar (19).

SPITFIRES STATS

• An Essex win in this game would level the domestic List A head-to-head record between these teams.

• Essex have won seven and lost two of their last 10 domestic List A games against Kent (one tie).

• The Spitfires have won 10 of their last 15 completed home domestic List A games.

• Ben Harmison had the best average (18) and economy rate (4.26) of any Kent bowler to take 5 wickets or more in last year’s tournament.

• Sam Billings hit the most sixes last season (17) and was Kent’s only specialist batsman with a strike rate above 100.