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Match Preview: Sussex Sharks vs. Kent Spitfires

Kent Spitfires head to the 1st Central County Ground in Hove to face the Sussex Sharks this Thursday evening.


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Last Time Out

Miles Hammond hit a blistering 80 as Gloucestershire defeated the Kent Spitfires by nine wickets in the Vitality Blast at Canterbury.

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Hammond hit five sixes and eight fours in a 41-ball innings, while his opening partner Cameron Bancroft made an unbeaten 39 as the visitors coasted home with 8.2 overs to spare, finishing on 127 for one.


Opposition Report

Previewed by Bruce Talbot – ECB Reporters Network

  • Captain: Tymal Mills
  • Overseas players: Daniel Hughes (Australia), Nathan McAndrew (Australia)
  • Finals Day appearances: Five (2007, 2009, 2012, 2018, 2021)
  • Titles: One (2009)
  • 2023 finish: Sixth (South Group)
  • 2023 leading run-scorer: Ravi Bopara (408)
  • 2023 leading wicket-taker: Tymal Mills & Ravi Bopara (12)

Key winter moves: Tymal Mills, one of only three players who took part at Finals Day in 2021 still at Sussex, takes over as captain. Daniel Hughes, the experienced Australian left-hander who has played 105 Big Bash games, will be joined by compatriot Nathan McAndrew, who played seven Blast matches for Sussex in 2023.

The big question: Neither of Sussex’s two top scorers in 2023 – Ravi Bopara and Michael Burgess – are around this year so who is going to fire the batting? A lot depends on Daniel Hughes, who is experiencing the Blast for the first time, while Danny Lamb will look to take on Bopara’s all-rounder role.

Wildcard watch: James Coles played 11 games last year without producing a match-winning performance but with that experience under his belt the 20-year-old could be crucial this season, as a tempo-setting batter in the top four and with his improving left-arm spin in the middle overs.

Final thought: Sussex won five games away but only once at Hove and coach Paul Farbrace has prioritised improving that home record. They are set to lose young Scotland internationals Brad Currie and Charlie Tear to the World Cup and lack obvious star quality. They will need to start well if they are to threaten the big hitters in the South Group.


Weather Watch

HOVE WEATHER

Follow Kent Spitfies on X to receive live updates on prospects of play should there be any delays.


Heading to The 1st Central County Ground?

Sussex’s home venue will be showing England vs. Denmark in UEFA EURO 2024, so gates will open at 4:30pm ahead of the 5:00pm kick-off in Germany. On top of that, Sussex are offering 25% off all drinks until 6:00pm.


Live Match Centre

Sussex Cricket vs. Kent Spitfires will be live streamed & embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website.

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Pictures & sound will be provided by Sussex CCC.


Frank Woolley Stand SOLD OUT for Friday Finale!

Tickets for Kent Spitfires vs. Surrey, the oldest rivalry in world cricket, are selling fast!

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Team News

Kent Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has named a 14-strong squad for the Spitfires’ trip to Hove.

Beyers Swanepoel returns to the squad after illness, and Jaydn Denly makes his first appearance in a Vitality Blast squad

Barring international call-ups, Zak Crawley is available for Kent throughout the start of the Vitality Blast, especially before the start of England Men’s Test Summer in July.

Jack Leaning (hand) & Joe Denly have been ruled out for this match due to injury.

Fred Klaassen is unavailable due to injury & misses the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in North America.

Matt Quinn (back) remains unfit due to injury from pre-season. Michael Cohen (stress fracture) has been ruled out of the 2024 season.

Kent Spitfires’ Matchday Squad, presented by Shepherd Neame >>>

Kent Spitfires’ squad to face Sussex Sharks: Sam Billings (Captain), Xavier Bartlett (Overseas player), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Jaydn Denly, Joey Evison, Harry Finch, Nathan Gilchrist, Tawanda Muyeye, Marcus O’Riordan, Matt Parkinson, Jas Singh, Grant Stewart, Beyers Swanepoel (Overseas player)

Vitality Blast is back in Canterbury!

  • The most exciting form of county cricket – international T20 & Hundred stars feature for county sides in a format that usually lasts around three hours – the perfect sporting night out!

Buy your T20 tickets here

Scramble your squadron for a choice of Friday night socials this June & July and enjoy discounts on tickets for groups of six or more!