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Match Preview: Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, 19th June

Tuesday 18th June 2013

Men’s First Team

Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks

Yorkshire Bank 40 – Group A

Wednesday, 19th June – 4.40pm start

The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence

The Kent Spitfires return to Yorkshire Bank 40 action on Wednesday when Sussex travel to Canterbury for a crucial, floodlit Group C clash.

The Squad

Kent will again be led by wicketkeeper Geraint Jones in the absence of skipper James Tredwell, who will be hoping to take his place in the England team for their ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against South Africa.

Seamer Mark Davies returns to the squad after recovering from injury and he joins former Durham team-mate Mitch Claydon in the 12. On-loan seamer Claydon could be in line for his Spitfires Yorkshire Bank 40 debut.

The full squad to face Sussex will be:

Jones (c), Key, Northeast, Nash, Billings, Stevens, Harmison, Haggett, Claydon, Davies, Riley, Blake

Players to watch:

West Indian batsman Brendan Nash has been in prime Yorkshire Bank 40 form this season and will hope to carry that on against Sussex. The left-hander is revelling in his new number three position. His 320 run tally, at an average of 64, puts him amongst the highest run-scorers in the competition.

All-rounder Chris Jordan has enjoyed a new lease of life on the south-coast after a summer move from Surrey. He averages 27 with the bat and has taken ten wickets at 13.10 to underline his all-round talents. Jordan’s cameo at Horsham earlier in the season hurt Kent then and he will be looking to impress once more.

Pre-match chat:

Kent Head Coach Jimmy Adams is pleased with his side’s form in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition, going into the game: “We’ve competed and got some early results, which has put us in a decent position. It’s always nice to play a game that has meaning attached to it and the lads are all looking forward to it. It’s always good to have a home fixture and it would be great if we could get some good weather with the game being played under lights. It’s a top fixture for both teams. I believe they are one of the top sides in domestic limited-overs cricket so it will be a good outing for the lads.”

The season so far:

Kent are nicely placed in their qualifying group at the halfway stage, sitting third, having taken eight points from seven games. They are currently four points behind leaders Nottinghamshire who have a 100% record.

The hosts will be looking to bounce back from their last Yorkshire Bank 40 outing when they suffered a 29-run defeat at the hands of Northants at Tunbridge Wells. The Steelbacks batted first and made the most of a superb run-scoring wicket to post 263 for four with Alex Wakley hitting a century. In reply, Kent started well with Sam Billings (57) and Sam Northeast (41) putting on 64 for the first wicket. However, both fell to Lee Daggett. Alex Blake made the most of his first appearance of the season, blasting 43 from just 24-balls, but his cameo was ultimately in vain with Kent falling comfortably short.

Sussex have had a mixed YB40 campaign so far, winning just two of their seven games, but with two matches washed out fifth position in the group belies the quality they have on offer. The Sharks have already overcome Kent once this season – by 20 runs at Horsham last month – but on Sunday they turned in a disappointing display against Northants at Arundel. Defeat on Wednesday would almost certainly end their YB40 interests for 2013.

Previous meetings:

Sussex ran out winners at Horsham last month in the corresponding fixture when Kent fell 20-runs short of their 223 victory target. Medium-pacer Adam Ball (3-36) had helped reduce the hosts to 188-9 before Chris Jordan smashed a quickfire 37 to help the Sharks post a competitive total. Stevens (51), Ben Harmison (42) and Brendan Nash (35) all made starts in the Spitfires chase but no-one went on to see them through to victory.

The Sharks also held the upper hand when the two last met in a 40-over fixture at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence. With a place in last year's CB40 semi-finals up for grabs, the visitors over-powered Kent by nine-wickets to qualify from Group C. In front of a bumper crowd, the hosts batted first but could only muster a below par 210 for five. Sussex were ruthless in their reply with England players Luke Wright (101) and Matt Prior (78) sharing an unbeaten 152 for the second wicket as the Sharks cruised into the final four with a full ten overs to spare.

The two sides have met 19 times in limited-overs cricket at Canterbury and honours are even with both winning on nine occasions.