Match Preview: Sussex Sharks v Kent Spitfires FLt20, 31st July

Tuesday 30th July 2013

Men’s First Team

Match Preview: Sussex Sharks v Kent Spitfires FLt20, 31st July

Sussex Sharks v Kent Spitfires

Friends Life t20 – South Division

Wednesday,31 July – 7.10pm start


The Kent Spitfires complete their Friends Life t20 campaign with a trip to Hove on Wednesday, where they face the Sussex Sharks. The Spitfires will be hoping they can do the double, having beaten Sussex Sharks in the reverse fixture last Wednesday at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

The team

The Kent Spitfires have namedthe following12-man team forWednesday evening's Friends Life t20 trip to take on Sussex Sharks.

Jones (c/wk), Bell-Drummond, Billings, Stevens, Blake, Harmison, Cowdrey, Riley, Claydon, Coles, Davies, Haggett

Pre-match chat:

Captain James Tredwell is still struggling with an ankle injury, and therefore Geraint Jones will continue to lead the side and he is looking forward to the trip to Hove:

"We're looking forward to it, for sure. They're our local rivals and there's pride to play for because it hasn't been our best Twenty20 campaign, by any means, but we've shown in the second half that we are capable of good results in this competition. It's why we beat Hampshire. We've just got toenjoy it at Hove and hopefully finish on a high."

Joneswas initially rested for thestart of the Friends Life t20 competition, but quickly came back into the side and is clearly relishing being involved:

"You speak to anyone, in any sporting environment, and they will say that you do need that balance. It's a fine balance between youth and experience because you do need to give the youngsters an opportunity, but you do need some senior heads too. It's important for us older players toimpart our knowledge and help the younger onesthrough certain situations.

"We can alsohelp whenreflecting on games and give our thoughts on whatcan be done better orwhat we did well. Also, as asenior player, I find it's a great way to get energy and the youthful exuberance from the young players. Iwant to play as much cricket as possible. This is afantastic competition so I just want to play where I can as I'm really enjoying my cricket."

The season so far:

It has been a disappointing qualifying campaign for two sides with such good Twenty20 pedigree. Kent have won two from nine games while their counterparts have a solitary win from their group matches.

Kent were brushed aside by table topping Hampshire on Monday night by 62 runs while Sussex were beaten by the Spitfires in their last outing. That night, under the Canterbury lights, Darren Stevens (67 not-out) and a quick-fire forty from Fabian Cowdrey set up Kent’s total of 173 for three. The Sharks were always behind the run-rate in their chase despite Matt Machan’s 67. However, some lusty late blows from Scott Styris kept the visitors in touch, but Mitch Claydon kept his nerve in the final over to hand Kent a slender eight-run success. Click here for the Match Report on that fixture

Previous meetings:

When the two sides met on the south coast last season, it was the Sharks who stormed to a resounding 83-run victory. The hosts, batting first, reached a huge total of 212 for six. Half-centuries from Chris Nash and Murray Goodwin, complimented by 46 off 20-balls from Matt Prior, powered Sussex while Simon Cook (3-41) was the pick of the Kent attack.

Kent were never in the hunt in reply – despite 38 from Sam Billings, and it was left to Michael Rippon (4-23) to mop up the Spitfires' batting with some impressive bowling. Jimmy Adams will be hoping for an improved performance from his team on Wednesday evening under the Hove lights.

Photo: David Purday