Match Preview: Worcestershire Royals v Kent Spitfires, Yorkshire Bank 40

Saturday 10th August 2013

Men’s First Team

Match Preview: Worcestershire Royals v Kent Spitfires, Yorkshire Bank 40

Worcestershire Royals v Kent Spitfires

Yorkshire Bank 40 – Group A

Sunday, 11th August – 1.45pm start

New Road, Worcester

The Kent Spitfires return to Yorkshire Bank 40 action against Worcestershire Royals at New Road in the knowledge that a defeat will all but extinguish their chances of making the semi-final stages.

The team:

Kent have named the following 12-man squad for their return to the 40-over competition, including batting all-rounder Fabian Cowdrey: Tredwell (c), Key, Northeast, Nash, Stevens, Jones (w), Harmison, Cowdrey, Coles, Claydon, Davies, Riley.

Players to watch:

Left-hander Brendan Nash, batting at three, has been in fine form throughout this season’s Yorkshire Bank 40 competition, averaging 64 in a new-look batting line-up. The former West Indies Test-match batsman suffered a rare failure in the four-day match between the two side’s at New Road last week and will be looking to avenge that on Sunday.

Royals seam-bowler Jack Shantry has been an impressive performer for the Royals in Yorkshire Bank 40 cricket this season, bagging twelve wickets at an average of less than twenty. His unorthodox action makes him a tricky customer and he will be buoyed from signing a new two-year extension with the New Road outfit.

Pre-match chat:

Spitfires captain James Tredwell is optimistic that his side can progress to the final four of this competition; however he realises he needs to see the best from his players:

“We are doing reasonably well in the Yorkshire Bank 40 and we’ve still got to play the teams above us so it’s in our hands if we perform. We need to string together some results and see where it takes us.

“I don’t think there are any bad sides in our group and we saw in the recent championship match that Worcestershire are a good side. They’ve got some good cricketers all the way through and they’ve shown that they’ve got a good work ethic with the way they go about things.

“We’ve not played this format of the game for a while now so we will need to quickly switch our mindset and see how we go.”

The season so far:

Kent sit third in Group A having won five of their first eight games and they know wins are necessary in their final games if they are to stand any chance of chasing down table-topping Nottinghamshire to grab a place in the semi-finals.

The Spitfires produced a stunning, record run-chase in their previous Yorkshire Bank 40 outing to re-ignite their qualification hopes. Under the lights at Canterbury, the hosts chased down 337 against Sussex Sharks to seal a magnificent win. Darren Stevens was the star of the show, blasting 118 from just 53 balls and he was ably assisted by Sam Northeast (115 from 102 balls), as Kent claimed a remarkable three-wicket win with nine balls to spare.

Worcestershire are currently third from bottom in Group A and lost to the Northamptonshire Steelbacks by seven-wickets in their last outing.

Previous meetings:

The two sides have already met in Yorkshire Bank 40 cricket this season, with Kent edging a low-scoring thriller at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence. The visitors batted first in a game reduced to 25-overs per-side due to rain, and proceeded to struggle against the seaming ball. Matt Coles returned 4-20 and Mark Davies chipped in with two-wickets as the Royals stumbled to 110 for nine from their allotted overs. Kent’s reply started miserably with Shantry (3-11) helping reduce them to 45-6. However, experienced duo Tredwell (42 not-out) and Geraint Jones (30) added 47 for the seventh wicket to help see the hosts through to a three-wicket success.

In their last 40-over meeting at New Road, back in 2011, it was Kent who cruised to a resounding 86-run victory. Martin van Jaarsveld (124) led the way for the visitors as they set the home side a daunting 292 to win. Moeen Ali struck a half-century in reply – at the top of the order – but on-loan bowler David Balcombe (4-38) and Simon Cook (3-40) ensured that the Spitfires comfortably took the points.

The two counties have met 22 times in limited-overs cricket in Worcester with the hosts claiming victory 11 times compared to Kent’s nine.

** Kent Spitfires will be back in action at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Thursday 15th August when they take on Warwickshire Bears. Kids can enjoy free enjoy to this fixture with a paying adult – and adults can save by pre-purchasing tickets online – click here to book yours **