Match Preview: Kent vs. Somerset

Match Preview: Kent vs. Somerset

The 2024 season begins in earnest with the visit of Somerset to take on Kent at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in the Vitality County Championship.

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Matchday Information

Important matchday information for Members, Six Pack Ticket Bundle holders & those that have purchased matchday 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 floodlights at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence will not be in use for this match.

Weather forecast

  • Buy your tickets with confidence – should there be less than 16 overs bowled in the day, ticket purchasers for that day’s play will receive an automatic ticket credit to their Kent Cricket Ticketing Account.
  • Follow Kent Cricket on X to receive live updates on prospects of play should there be any delays.

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FREE Digital Match Programme

Hear from Men’s Head Coach Matter Walker, learn about our first-class statistical history against our opponents & more:

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It’s not too late to become a Kent Member for this Summer – be a part of the Kent Cricket family and guarantee your place at Kent’s home matches this season, even if tickets are sold out!

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Live Match Centre

Kent vs. Somerset will be live streamed & embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website.

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Pictures will be synced to live BBC Radio Commentary for all four days.

Opposition Report

Previewed by Richard Latham – ECB Reporters Network

  • Captain: Lewis Gregory
  • Head Coach: Jason Kerr
  • 2023 finish: Seventh (Division One)
  • 2023 highest run-scorer: James Rew (1,086)
  • 2023 highest wicket-taker: Lewis Gregory (34)
  • Key winter moves: Matt Renshaw returns for a third spell in Somerset’s batting line-up to cover for Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s involvement in the Indian Premier League during April and May. Experienced former Nottinghamshire seamer Jake Ball will boost the bowling ranks, but hope of signing Will Sutherland were dashed when the Aussie all-rounder pulled out through injury. A replacement is being sought.
  • The big question: Will the forthcoming return of former captain Jamie Cox as chief executive help create the environment for Somerset to repeat the success of the Australian’s spell as a player, which saw him lift the 2001 C&G Trophy while leading the team to runners-up spot in the Championship the same season.
  • What we’re looking forward to seeing: How the experienced Lewis Gregory will cope with replacing Tom Abell as skipper in four-day cricket. The all-rounder has set a tremendous example in overcoming a series of major back problems, but faces a tough task maintaining form as a key figure with bat and ball, while shouldering the responsibility of captaincy.
  • Final thought: Players and coaches alike are tired of being reminded about Somerset never having won the County Championship title, despite numerous near misses, and are desperate to make history. Last season began on a wave of optimism, but soon developed into a campaign of inconsistent performances without a victory until the sixth game. More top-order runs, particularly in the first innings, will be required to build winning positions this summer, while the return of the popular Steve Kirby as bowling coach will ensure a lively dressing room.

Team News

Kent Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has named a squad of 13 for Kent’s opening match of the 2024 Vitality County Championship.

Daniel Bell-Drummond skippers a side that includes newly-appointed Vice Captain Jack Leaning as well as overseas recruit, Wes Agar, who has now arrived back in Canterbury for his second stint as a Kent cricketer, after taking 21 wickets in six first-class matches for the Spitfires in 2023.

Harry Finch will keep wicket after being confirmed as the Club’s first-choice red-ball wicketkeeper for this season, and new signing George Garrett could make his full Kent debut. Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson could also make his full red-ball debut for Kent.

Jas Singh is included after taking wickets in pre-season, as is Nathan Gilchrist, who missed a large proportion of the 2023 season through injury.

Matt Quinn (back) & Grant Stewart (calf) are not fit enough to feature in this match after sustaining injuries during pre-season and are being closely assessed by the Club’s physios. During treatment on a back injury and after flying Michael Cohen back from South Africa early to assess the extent of the injury, the Club’s backroom staff uncovered a stress fracture in Cohen’s back, and he will therefore miss the 2024 season through injury. We wish Mikey all the best in his recovery with the Club’s doctors and physios.

Zak Crawley is following ECB advice to not feature any two matches of the first section of Vitality County Championship fixtures this year. The right-hander has therefore decided to miss Kent’s first two matches of the 2024 season, making himself available to play for Kent across all formats until England’s Test Series with West Indies in July, barring any further international call-ups.

Fast bowling all-rounder Beyers Swanepoel, who will replace Xavier Bartlett as Kent’s second overseas star in the Vitality County Championship, will join up with the squad from 1 May. He be available for Kent’s Championship match with Worcestershire onwards.

Kent’s Match Squad, presented by Black Opal Travel Group >>>

Kent’s Match Squad vs. Somerset: Daniel Bell Drummond (Captain), Wes Agar (Overseas Player), Arafat Bhuiyan, Ben Compton, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Harry Finch, George Garrett, Nathan Gilchrist, Jack Leaning, Tawanda Muyeye, Matt Parkinson, Jas Singh

Make sure you’re here for the all-action Vitality Blast in June and July

Tickets for your Summer social in Canterbury to see the Kent Spitfires in T20 competition are on general sale now:

Buy your T20 tickets here

Lock in your place at The Spitfire Ground this Summer. Several matches completely sold out in 2023. Take advantage of Early Bird prices before the end of 1 May and save money by buying today.

Scramble your squadron for a choice of Friday nights & weekends this June & July and enjoy discounts on tickets for groups of six or more!

Match Previews of Kent’s Vitality County Championship fixtures are proudly sponsored by Bayliss Executive Travel Ltd. >>>