Match Preview: Gloucestershire vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Preview: Gloucestershire vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires travel back west for their third away match of the Vitality Blast, facing Gloucestershire at The Bristol County Ground, Bristol.

The visitors sit top of the Vitality Blast South Group with all-but three of their rivals now having played six matches so far in the tournament, after gaining ten points from their five victories to date.

After an innings of 42* against Essex Eagles, Jack Leaning now averages 53.25 with the bat in T20 cricket for Kent this season, and also has the most amount of sixes for the Spitfires, with 12 so far.

Both Fred Klaassen and Matt Milnes have ten wickets to date in the tournament, both averaging under 17.50 runs per wicket with the ball to boot.

Bowling in the powerplay, Joe Denly has an economy rate of just 5.58 so far.

In the reverse of this fixture on 13 June, the Spitfires held their nerve to win a thriller at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

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The visitors needed 10 off the final over, but Fred Klaassen responded with two wickets from the first two balls, to give The Spitfires their third Vitality Blast win out of three, by five runs.

Gloucestershire had looked favourites after racing to 54 without loss, Chris Dent making 40 and Glenn Phillips 38. Kent then reduced them to 125 for five, but just as Benny Howell seemed to have tilted the balance back in the visitors’ favour he was out for 48, and they finished on 178 for eight.

Last time out

Kent Spitfires thrashed Essex Eagles by 67 runs in a record-breaking Vitality Blast win at Canterbury.

View full scorecard >>>

A blistering display by openers Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond made Essex rue their decision to bowl first after winning the toss, as Kent posted 236 for three.

Bell-Drummond smashed 88 from 44 balls, including six sixes, while Crawley hit cleared the rope four times on his way to 69 from 39 balls. After a mini-wobble, Jack Leaning’s 42 not out from 17 steered Kent to their highest ever Blast score.

Leaning then took three for 15 as Essex were all out for 169, Adam Wheater their top scorer with 46.

Opposition Report

The hosts go into this game after two washed-out matches against Hampshire Hawks and Essex Eagles curtailed good momentum gained after a two-run victory over Middlesex last Thursday.

Gloucestershire were beaten by 5 wickets against an in-form Sussex Sharks side in their last home fixture on 11 June, despite 42 from New Zealander Glenn Phillips and a career-best 3-32 from Josh Shaw.

Both Phillips and Chris Dent have over 100 runs in T20 cricket for Glos this season, the former having hit 11 sixes for the Bristol-based side.

Shaw’s escapades with the ball takes him up to seven wickets so far, the most of any Glos bowler, whilst David Payne has five and Benny Howell also taking three wickets in two matches so far.

After Kent’s win at home against Gloucestershire earlier in the group stages, both sides have faced each other 18 times in T20 cricket, both winning nine times.

James Bracey has returned to Glos after making his England Test debut against New Zealand earlier this month, whilst Ryan Higgins is also included in the hosts’ squad after being ruled out of their trip to Canterbury through injury.

Gloucestershire’s 14-man squad in full: Jack Taylor (Captain), James Bracey, Ian Cockbain, Chris Dent, Miles Hammond, Ryan Higgins, Benny Howell, David Payne, Glenn Phillips, Josh Shaw, Tom Smith, Matthew Taylor, Graeme van Buuren, Daniel Worrall.

Live Streaming

Gloucestershire vs. Kent Spitfires will be embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website, with pictures coming via Gloucestershire Cricket.

Team News

Matt Quinn is included in a Kent Spitfires squad for the first time after joining the Club on loan for the rest of the 2021 season and signing a three-year permanent deal to begin from 2022.

Heino Kuhn is once again included in Kent’s travelling squad of 15, after recovering from a calf injury. As a reminder, sides in the Vitality Blast are allowed three overseas players in their squad, with two in the Playing XI on a matchday.

Despite going off after being hit on the finger against Essex Eagles, seamer Grant Stewart is included in the squad.

Overseas signing Adam Milne is expected to join-up with the Spitfires for the visit of Somerset on 28 June.

Tim Groenewald (knee) remains unavailable for this match.

Sam Billings is unavailable after being called-up to England’s IT20 squad to face Sri Lanka. Daniel Bell-Drummond will continue to captain the side.

Kent’s full Matchday Squad, presented by Shepherd Neame >>>


Kent Spitfires will look to avenge defeat at Taunton with the visit of Somerset to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Monday 28 June (19:00 start).

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Be in with a chance of winning Darren Stevens’ signed match-worn Vitality Blast shirt by buying any piece of Samurai Sportswear Kent Cricket merchandise online or in-store before 18 July.

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Match Previews of Kent Spitfires’ Vitality Blast fixtures are proudly sponsored by Shepherd Neame >>>