Match Preview: Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires

Thursday 25th May 2023

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent’s first trip to the capital in the Vitality Blast sees a journey to the Kia Oval to face Surrey in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The Spitfires will be buoyed by a dominating victory over Gloucestershire last time out, by seven wickets. Michael Hogan took 3-13 on T20 debut for Kent – Joe Denly & Jordan Cox then saw the Canterbury side over the line with the bat.

Take your Flag of Kent to the Oval on Kent Day!

After an emphatic victory by in front of thousands at Canterbury yesterday, the Club is encouraging supporters travelling to South London to Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires at the Kia Oval on Kent Day, Friday 26 May, to take a Flag of Kent with them & proudly display the White Horse inside the ground to support the Spitfires.

Kent Day is celebrated every year on 26 May, to mark the Feast Day of St. Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury & Patron Saint of Kent. The annual ‘Kentish Takeover’ of the Oval usually sees a large amount of travelling Kent supporters, based mostly around Metropolitan Kent but from across the county, make the journey to the capital.

Known as the ‘Oldest Rivalry’ in world cricket, the first recorded completed scorecard of any match between two county sides is from Surrey vs. Kent at the Laleham-Burley Ground near Chertsey in 1773, 250 years ago this year.

Match Coverage

Surrey vs. Kent Spitfires will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK – starting at 18:15 on Sky Sports Mix.

Live match updates from the Oval will come via the Club’s social media channels.

Opposition Report

  • Captain: Chris Jordan
  • Overseas players: Sunil Narine (West Indies), Sean Abbott (Australia)
  • Finals Day appearances: 7 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2020)
  • Titles: 1 (2003)
  • 2022 finish: Quarter-finals
  • 2022 leading run-scorer: Will Jacks (449)
  • 2022 leading wicket-taker: Chris Jordan (17)

he only significant change in Surrey’s short-form ranks from last year is the arrival of Sean Abbott, the Australian fast bowler who also hits a long ball, as an overseas player in place of West Indies veteran all-rounder Kieron Pollard. Abbott, 31, has played 11 ODIs and nine T20 internationals.

  • The big question: Can Surrey finally add to their only previous T20 Cup triumph, which came under Adam Hollioake’s captaincy way back in the inaugural tournament in 2003. Since then there have been six other Finals Day appearances, with runners-up finishes in 2004, 2013 and 2020. A Blast title is certainly high on Surrey’s wish list for this summer as they also try to retain their 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship crown.
  • Wildcard watch: Jordan Clark and Tom Lawes – Twelve Surrey players were selected in the Hundred Draft, either retained or picked, but of those still without a franchise the likes of all-rounders Clark and Lawes, plus Aussie paceman and UK passport holder Dan Worrall, will be looking to catch the eye.

Surrey’s recent Championship success has been based, bowling-wise, on an outstanding pace battery but in T20 they look far more to spin, with West Indian wizard Sunil Narine – perhaps the world’s best mystery spinner in short-form cricket – backed up by combative left-armer Dan Moriarty and the off spin of multi-talented all-rounder Will Jacks. The batting, meanwhile, looks strong and deep.

Last Time Out

Near 4,000 spectators at The Spitfire Ground saw the Kent Spitfires rout Gloucestershire by seven wickets in their opening Vitality Blast fixture of 2023.

View full scorecard

The 2021 Champions cruised home with 6.3 overs to spare, closing on 116-3 in reply to the visitors meagre 113 all out.

Micahel Hogan took three for 13 while Grant Stewart, Jack Leaning and Kane Richardson all took two apiece as the visitors collapsed from 82 for 3 all out in 16.3 overs.

Chris Dent was the visitors’ top scorer with 55, but none of his team mates made more than 12.

Tom Smith claimed three for 22 but it was a chastening evening for Goucestershire. Joe Denly anchored Kent’s reply an unbeaten 35 before Jordan Cox stole the show by clubbing 39 from 17 balls, including a huge six for the winning runs.

Squad News

Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has named an unchanged squad of 13 for Kent Spitfires’ match at the Kia Oval following victory over Gloucestershire on Wednesday.

Zak Crawley has now joined up with England ahead of their Test against Ireland & is unavailable, whilst Fred Klaassen is unavailable for the start of the Vitality Blast due to personal reasons.

Matt Quinn (toe) & Nathan Gilchrist (soft tissue) are also still out of contention.

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

Kent Spitfires matchday squad vs. Surrey: Sam Billings (Captain), Arafat Bhuiyan, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Michael Hogan, Jack Leaning, George Linde (Overseas player), Tawanda Muyeye, Kane Richardson (Overseas player), Grant Stewart.

Next Home Match

A repeat of the 2021 Vitality Blast final takes place at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence when Somerset are the visitors to Canterbury to take on the Kent Spitfires.

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The Oldest Rivalry comes to Canterbury in two weeks’ time

Kent Spitfires welcome Surrey to ‘Fortress Canterbury’ for a Sunday afternoon T20 match at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on 4 June!

Buy your tickets now to save money on On The Day prices:

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Members do not need to pre-book their space at T20 matches as per last season – entry will be gained by scanning a valid 2023 Kent Cricket Membership card at the gate.

The Frank Woolley Stand is already completely SOLD OUT for this fixture. An allocation has been set aside for Members & Six Pack Plus Ticket Holders.

Those unable to join us at The Spitfire Ground can purchase the Live Stream for this match via KentCricketPlay for £5.99 (FREE for all 2023 Kent Members) now:

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