Match Preview: Warwickshire Bears v Kent Spitfires, CB40

Monday 13th August 2012

Men’s First Team

Match Preview: Warwickshire Bears v Kent Spitfires, CB40

Warwickshire Bears v Kent Spitfires, CB40 – Group C

Edgbaston, Birmingham, 13 August 2012 – 4.40pm start

Kent Spitfires have the chance of going top of their CB40 group tonight. Victory in Birmingham will put them in pole position to secure a semi-final berth. However, their opponents are the table topping Warwickshire Bears making it one of Kent’s biggest games of the season to date.

After yesterday’s crushing win over Derbyshire Falcons on the final day of the 161st Canterbury Festival Week, Rob Key’s men currently sit third in the group – two points off the top. The nature of a Sam Billings inspired 111-run victory not only raised confidence in the camp but also boosted Kent’s net run rate as they enter the final stages of qualifying in a strong position. Tonight, the Sky television cameras are at Edgbaston for one both sides will be desperate to win.

Dashing opener Billings was in devastating form yesterday as he smashed the record for the highest one-day score for a Kent player at Canterbury to help the Spitfires decimate the Falcons. The 21 year-old right-hander cracked 17 fours and a six on his way to a 113 ball 143. Darren Stevens (40) and Geraint Jones (41*) provided ample support, but it was the young opener who dominated as Kent posted an impressive 248 for six.

In reply, Derbyshire never really got going. Firstly seam bowler Mark Davies gave a masterclass in bowling straight as he picked up 3-25, with the new ball, before Stevens took over to seal the win. The medium pacer ripped through the Falcons middle-order to secure the second five wicket haul of his limited-overs career as the visitors slumped to 137 all-out in front of a vast St Lawrence Ground crowd.

Warwickshire also enter the game on the back of a victory after they secured a miraculous last over success against Yorkshire last week. Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis revised victory target of 238 off 34 overs, the Bears looked to be faltering at 199 for seven before a brutal eighth wicket stand between Steffan Piolet and Paul Best secured the win – with four balls to spare. The duo blasted 40 runs, off just 18 balls, as Warwickshire swept to the top of Group C – a position where Kent will be looking to move into after tonight’s big clash in Birmingham.

Team news to follow.