Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Sussex Sharks

Wednesday 28th June 2023

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Sussex Sharks

With hopes of qualification for the Vitality Blast Quarter Finals at stake, Kent Spitfires welcome neighbours Sussex Sharks to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in a clash known as the ‘War of the Wealds’.

This match is now completely SOLD OUT – thank you for your incredible support.

Kent Spitfires return to Beckenham this August! See the 2023 One Day Cup winners look to retain their title in two one-day clashes at The County Ground, Beckenham:

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The Spitfires go into this sold-out match boasting the tournament’s top run-scorer – Daniel Bell-Drummond’s 587 runs are at a strike rate of 149.74.

Grant Stewart continues to have the highest batting strike rate of any Kent player in the tournament – hitting at an impressive 188.57. Jordan Cox is averaging 52.00 for his 260 runs, including 82 not out in a Player of the Match performance in the Spitfires’ victory over the Sharks at Hove last week.

Michael Hogan is Kent’s top T20 bowler so far this year, with 21 wickets at 19.00 – after Stewart’s hat-trick last time out against Middlesex, the Italian international now has 20 wickets at 17.35.

Jack Leaning’s economy rate is 7.47 – the best of any Spitfires bowlers, with Fred Klaassen the most economical of Kent’s seamers – 7 wickets in five matches at 7.63.

Matchday Information

Important matchday information for Members, Six Pack Ticket Bundle holders & those that have purchased match tickets can be accessed via the button below:

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We strongly advise that all Members & spectators travelling to the ground make use of public transport.

The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence is located approximately a mile from the historic Cathedral City Centre of Canterbury.

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The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence is a cashless venue. The Kent Cricket Shop, ticket sales, and food & beverage payments at all outlets are conducted without cash during matches.

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Live Streaming via KentCricketPlay

If you’re unable to join us at The Spitfire Ground, Kent Spitfires vs. Sussex Sharks is available to watch via the Club’s streaming platform, KentCricketPlay.

Streaming passes cost £5.99 for all non-Members, & FREE for all 2023 Kent Members.

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If you’re a valid 2023 Kent Member & the system is not set to FREE for you – please contact us & we can change this for you. It is a manual process to upgrade a Member’s account on KentCricketPlay.

Opposition Report

  • Captain: Ravi Bopara
  • Overseas players: Nathan McAndrew (Australia), Shadab Khan (Pakistan), Ari Karvelas (Greece).
  • Finals Day appearances: 5 (2007, 2009, 2012, 2018, 2021)
  • Titles: 1 (2009)
  • 2022 finish: Seventh (South Group)
  • 2022 leading run scorer: Tom Alsop (318)
  • 2022 leading wicket taker: Tymal Mills (15)

Luke Wright’s retirement will leave a big hole in the top order, but the Sharks have recruited well from overseas. Nathan McAndrew had a good Big Bash with Sydney Thunder and brings new-ball experience and middle-order hitting potential while the experienced Shadab Khan looks an ideal replacement for Rashid Khan.

  • The big question: Sussex have plenty of bowling options and Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan looks a terrific signing, but can Sussex get enough runs on the board? Tom Alsop, who missed the first four games of 2022 but still finished leading scorer, has the temperament to anchor the innings and let others go for their shots.
  • Wildcard watch: Ali Orr – In Wright’s absence Orr is likely to get an extended opportunity at the top of the order. He has only played eight T20 games in his career but has all the shots in white-ball cricket, as he proved in 2022 when he scored Sussex’s first List A double hundred against Somerset.

Two appearances at Finals Day in four years vindicated Sussex’s decision to prioritise the Blast but 2022 was their worst performance for a decade with only four wins. They will miss Wright and Rashid Khan, who could win matches on their own, and their hopes of making the knockouts may depend on the experienced Ravi Bopara, Tymal Mills and Steven Finn rolling back the years.

Squad News

Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has included a fit-again Fred Klaassen into an otherwise unchanged squad that defeated Middlesex last time out.

Australia’s Wes Agar is still in place in the Spitfires’ T20 squad over Kane Richardson (side strain), with two overseas players permitted in the Playing XI. Arshdeep Singh is only available for Kent in the County Championship, as per the terms of his Overseas spell.

Zak Crawley is with England’s Test setup for the Ashes.

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

Kent Spitfires matchday squad vs. Sussex Sharks: Sam Billings (Captain), Wes Agar (Overseas player), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Michael Hogan, Fred Klaassen, Jack Leaning, George Linde (Overseas player), Tawanda Muyeye, Matt Quinn, Grant Stewart.

Kent Spitfires return to Beckenham this August!

See the 2023 One Day Cup winners look to retain their title in two one-day clashes at The County Ground, Beckenham:

Buy tickets now

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