Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Thursday 1st July 2021

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey

Kent Spitfires will welcome Surrey to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Friday 2 July for another rivalry encounter under the lights in the Vitality Blast.

Dubbed the oldest rivalry in county cricket, to many, Kent’s rivalry with Surrey is the most fervent.

After a washout against Sussex Sharks on Tuesday, the Spitfires are currently top of the South Group with 13 points in nine matches.

Daniel Bell-Drummond is Kent’s top T20 run-scorer in this year’s Blast with 286 runs, with Zak Crawley (257), Jordan Cox (239) and Jack Leaning (237) all having passed the 200-run mark in the tournament to date.

Matt Milnes is Kent’s most successful bowler to date with 13 victims. Fred Klaassen also has 11 scalps to his name.


Any remaining tickets, and tickets that our Members have returned to us after they can no longer attend, are on general sale until gates open at 17:00 on Friday 2 July. As more tickets are released/returned, they will be available to purchase.

Click here to check for Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey ticket availability >>>

We urge any Members that have booked Vitality Blast tickets and do not intend to use them to contact the Club as soon as possible, so that they may be made available to their fellow supporters.

Tickets will not be available on the gate.

Last time out

Kent Spitfires moved into top position of the South Group of the Vitality Blast after gaining a point due to no play against Sussex Sharks at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove.

Umpires Neil Mallender and Gary Pratt made their decision two hours before the scheduled 19:00 start because of a wet outfield. Moments later there was more heavy rain.

Opposition report

Surrey gained pole position level with the Spitfires in the Vitality Blast South Group after a 20-run win over Hampshire on Wednesday night taking them up to 13 points, with Kent having a game in hand still on their rivals.

A Jamie Overton-inspired Surrey restricted the Hawks to 126 for 8 to seal a 20-run victory with the former Somerset allrounder finishing with figures of 2 for 14 from four overs and Gus Atkinson pitching in with 3 for 21.

The former ‘Brown Caps’ have five wins in 11 matches in the South Group, and opener Will Jacks has led the way with the bat – his 282 runs in ten innings 55 more than second-highest run scorer, opening partner Jamie Smith.

With the ball, medium pacer Gus Atkinson has ten wickets for Surrey at 13.90 this T20 season, whilst left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty has eight at 23.50.

Return of spectators

It’s our top priority to welcome you back to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, and to do that safely, we all have a role to play.

Because COVID-19 remains a part of our lives for the time-being – everyone – including the players, officials, staff, stewards and Members – will need to adhere to COVID-protocols to make the return of spectators a successful, and hopefully a permanent one.

All the information you need to adhere to the Club’s COVID-protocols upon your return to watching the Kent Spitfires live can be found in the below Match Day Information Pack:


Following the announcement that surge testing for COVID-19 has been implemented in Canterbury, the Club has been advised the introduction of the new enhancing testing programme is a precautionary measure.

Whilst the numbers of infection are relatively small, they are enough to cause some concern, and the enhanced testing programme is designed to help health officials get better idea of what’s happening in the community with regards to transmission.

Public Health officials at Kent County Council are urging anyone living, working or studying in all CT1 postcodes and the CT2 7 postcode to take a PCR Test at one of the five new test sites.

The units will be located at the city’s three City Council-owned Park and Ride services, in New Dover Road, Wincheap and Sturry Road; and at Darwin College car park and Keynes College car park at the University of Kent.

Live Streaming

Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey will be streamed via Kent Cricket’s Official YouTube channel, and embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website.

The ‘Oldest Rivalry’

On 27 June 1709 a cricket match was played at Dartford Brent between teams representing Kent and Surrey. It’s generally recognised as the first “inter-county match” ever played in our sport.

Thus began the oldest rivalry in county cricket, one that epitomises the game and what it means to the supporters of neighbouring counties. In the 300 years since that first encounter, there have been well over 300 matches played.

On 19 July 1776 at Carshalton a match between the two sides ended abruptly owing to a dispute “about one of the players being catched out, when Surrey was 50 a-head in the first innings; from words they came to blows”.

Kent were also the first county side to face Surrey at The Oval in 1846. Championship meetings between the two sides in both 1906 and 1970 were decisive in Kent winning the County Championship, with the visitors celebrating a league title at the home of their rivals.

Since the advent of T20 cricket in 2003, Kent and Surrey have played each other 35 times, with Kent winning 16, Surrey 18 and one no result.

Kent’s current highest recorded T20 total against Surrey was 231/7 at The Oval in 2015, with Darren Stevens scoring 90 from just 39 balls. Kent won that match by 54 runs, with four wickets from Stevens in the second innings.

Surrey also recorded the second-lowest team total for any team facing Kent in T20s in 2012, again at The Oval, when the ‘Brown Caps’ were dismissed for 88 chasing Kent’s total of 136/8, Azhar Mahmood taking 3-12 for the Spitfires.

Team News

Kent have named an unchanged 14-man squad from the visit to Hove for their rained-out fixture against Sussex Sharks on Tuesday.

Tim Groenewald (knee) remains unavailable for this match.

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

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

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.

Purchase your Samurai Sportswear Kent Cricket merchandise here >>>

More information >>>

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