Match Preview: Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires

Match Preview: Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires make the trip to Taunton for their final T20 group match of 2023 – facing Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The Spitfires go into this match needing victory to ensure a Quarter Final spot in this year’s Vitality Blast competition.

The One-Day Cup returns in the school Summer Holidays – the Kent Spitfires will defend their title at home matches both in Canterbury & Beckenham:

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Last Time Out

A century from Ravi Bopara helped the Sussex Sharks beat the Kent Spitfires by 11 runs in a rain-affected Vitality Blast match at Canterbury on Friday night.

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Bopara played a magnificent, almost chanceless, innings to record his highest ever T20 score of 108 from 53 balls, with 18 fours and just one six, as Sussex posted a massive 228 for seven, Tom Clark getting their next highest score with 47.

Kent were 31 for one in reply after 3.2 overs when heavy rain began to fall and they were set a revised target of 129 from 10 overs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method. Needing to hit out as soon as play resumed, they lost wickets too regularly to seriously threaten Sussex and finished on 117 for four, although they remain in the top four.

Match Coverage

Somerset vs. Kent Spitfires will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Live match updates will appear on the Club’s social media channels, as well as a fully functioning live video scorecard inside the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website.

Opposition Report

  • Captain: Tom Abell
  • Overseas players: Matt Henry (New Zealand), Peter Siddle (Australia)
  • Finals Day appearances: 8 (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2021, 2022)
  • Titles: 1 (2005)
  • 2022 finish: Semi-finals
  • 2022 leading runscorer: Rilee Rossouw (623)
  • 2022 leading wicket taker: Ben Green (21)

Big-hitting Tom Kohler-Cadmore is expected to open the batting, joining a top order of fast scorers in the Blast, following his move from Yorkshire, while New Zealand Test player Matt Henry has been recruited as an overseas player to boost the seam attack and could prove an experienced option for bowling at the death.

  • The big question: Can Somerset maintain form throughout a competition they have only won once, 18 years ago. Last year, having sailed through the group with some devastating displays, the Cidermen failed to do themselves justice in the semi-final against Hampshire, by no means the only time they have underperformed on Finals Day when it mattered most.
  • Wildcard watch: Ben Green – Somerset’s One-Day Cup captain proved himself with bat and ball in limited overs games last season, smashing 157 in a 50-over game against Durham at Taunton and finishing as the team’s top wicket-taker in the Blast with his seam bowling. Currently, a white ball specialist, Green is well capable of clearing the ropes with the bat and troubling top batsmen with the ball.

Spectators at the Cooper Associates County Ground look guaranteed more batting fireworks with power-hitters like Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Banton and Will Smeed at the top of the order and other players in Lewis Gregory, Ben Green and Craig Overton, who relish clearing the ropes. Taking wickets on the true Taunton pitches could hold the key to qualifying for Finals Day.

Squad News

Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has made two changes from Kent’s last T20 squad vs. Sussex Sharks.

Daniel Bell-Drummond & Wes Agar miss out through injury & are replaced by Harry Finch & Arafat Bhuiyan.

Australia’s Kane Richardson remains sidelined with a side injury. 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 Spitfires matchday squad vs. Somerset: Sam Billings (Captain), Arafat Bhuiyan, 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:

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