Match Preview: Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Preview: Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires travel to the West Country for their first away match of the 2021 Vitality Blast, when they take on Somerset at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The Spitfires will go into this match after recording three wins from their first three matches of the tournament, all coming at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Jack Leaning’s impressive all-round form has seen the 27-year-old pick up two Spitfire Kent Player of the Match awards after recording successive T20-best scores with the bat, and now has 146 runs from three matches.

Fred Klaassen currently sits at the top of the Spitfires’ wicket-taking charts, with seven scalps at 13.28.

The Spitfires faithful also enjoyed two wickets on debut for Afghanistan international spinner Qais Ahmad, who also combined with Kent’s keeper-batter Ollie Robinson for an extraordinary run-out in the final over against Gloucestershire.

Alex Blake currently has seven catches to his name in the tournament, and now has 73 outfield T20 catches for the Spitfires in his career – the most of any Kent player past or present in the format.

Darren Stevens is now 15 wickets away from equalling James Tredwell’s record number of 119 T20 scalps for Kent.

Last time out

Kent Spitfires held their nerve to win a thriller against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

View full scorecard >>>

The visitors needed 10 off the final over, but Fred Klassen 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.

Opposition Report

Somerset are yet to pick up their first victory of the 2021 Vitality Blast after two defeats to Kent’s rivals, Surrey and Essex Eagles, both at Taunton.

The hosts currently sit in eighth position of the Vitality Blast South Group.

Tom Abell is currently Somerset’s top run scorer with 73 in two matches, whilst Josh Davey has five wickets at 14.00.

Somerset boast the likes of big-hitter, Tom Banton, South African quick Marchant de Lange, England all-rounder Lewis Gregory and Fred Klaassen’s experienced Netherlands international teammate Roelof van der Merwe in their ranks – all three players capable of causing mayhem on their day.

The Spitfires have faced Somerset 16 times since the creation of T20 cricket in 2003, winning 12, and Somerset winning four matches.

The hosts will welcome back Jack Leach and Craig Overton from international duty.

Somerset Squad in full: Lewis Gregory (Captain), Tom Abell, Tom Banton, Eddie Byrom, Josh Davey, Marchant de Lange, Lewis Goldsworthy, Ben Green, James Hildreth, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Will Smeed, Max Waller.

Live Streaming

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

Team News

We’ve named a 15-strong travelling squad for our matches against Somerset and Glamorgan on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Sam Billings and Zak Crawley return to the Spitfires’ squad after international duty.

After the announcement that Sam Billings has been called-up to England’s IT20 squad to face Sri Lanka, he has decided to allow Vice-Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond to continue to skipper the side after our strong start to the competition under ‘DBD”s stewardship.

He remains the Club Captain, a leader in the dressing room, and is focused on helping the Spitfires to more positive performances and results in this year’s competition.

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

Tim Groenewald (knee) and Heino Kuhn (calf) remain unavailable for this match.

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 >>>

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