Match Preview: Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires

Thursday 8th July 2021

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires

The Kia Oval awaits the 37th T20 meeting between Surrey and the Kent Spitfires in the Vitality Blast.

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

The Spitfires defeated this match’s hosts by 11 runs in their last match, and go into the clash top of the Vitality Blast South Group on 15 points, one point ahead of Somerset in second place.

Jordan Cox is now Kent’s top T20 run-scorer in this year’s Blast with exactly 300 runs, with Daniel Bell-Drummond (286) and Jack Leaning (287) all also contributing heavily with the bat during this tournament.

Bell-Drummond now leads Kent’s six-hitting charts with 14 so far, closely followed by Jack Leaning (13).

Matt Milnes is Kent’s most successful bowler to date in the format this year with 13 victims at 20.07. Fred Klaassen also has 13 scalps to his name at 21.23.

After his two matches since returning for a fourth time as a Kent Spitfire, New Zealand international Adam Milne has four wickets at 18.25.

Last time out

Adam Milne took a hat-trick off the final three balls to clinch a thrilling 11 run victory for Kent Spitfires over Surrey at Canterbury, smothering the visitors in the death overs to leave them on 180 for six, in reply to the Spitfires 191 for four.

View full scorecard >>>

Milne took 4 for 38 and defended 18 in the final over, bowling Ollie Pope with the fourth delivery and getting Kyle Jamieson caught on the long on boundary with the penultimate ball to clinch an exhilarating win. He then had Laurie Evans caught off the last ball of the innings to seal an astonishing recovery.

Opposition report

Surrey are currently third in the Vitality Blast South Group following their defeat to the Spitfires last time out, with Kent still having a game in hand still on their rivals.

Club top run-scorer Will Jacks will be unavailable for the hosts after being called-up to England’s ODI squad to face Pakistan. ‘Keeper-batter Jamie Smith has 236 runs in ten innings at 33.71, whilst former Sussex man Laurie Evans has 234 at 23.40.

With the ball, medium pacer Gus Atkinson has 11 wickets for Surrey at 15.27 this T20 season, whilst left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty has eight at 25.25.

Singapore international Tim David could make his debut against the Spitfires.

Surrey squad in full: Gareth Batty (Captain), Gus Atkinson, Rory Burns, Jordan Clark, Rikki Clarke, Tim David, Laurie Evans, Ben Geddes, Conor McKerr, Daniel Moriarty, Ryan Patel, Jamie Overton, Jamie Smith.

Live Streaming

Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires will be streamed and embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website, with pictures coming courtesy of Surrey Cricket.

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 36 times, with Kent winning 17, 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

Sam Billings is unavailable after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the England ODI camp meant that the original squad will now all self-isolate.

Zak Crawley, who was called-up to the replacement ODI squad and scored 58 not out on debut, will be now be unavailable for Kent, and is replaced by Tawanda Muyeye.

Daniel Bell-Drummond will continue to captain the side after recovering from a hand injury that ruled him out of Kent’s LV= Insurance County Championship match at Lancashire.

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


Sussex make the journey to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in the LV= Insurance County Championship, forming the 169th Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in England.

Click here to check for Kent vs. Sussex ticket availability >>>

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 >>>