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Maynard: Somerset cannot afford to lose against Kent

Thursday 9th July 2015

Men’s First Team

Somerset head coach Matthew Maynard has challenged his side to win all four of their remaining NatWest T20 Blast South Group games, starting against leaders Kent at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence tomorrow.

Somerset go into the game just one place off the bottom of the table, but are only three points behind fourth-placed Glamorgan with a game in hand.

With eight teams vying for a top four finish, Maynard admits there is no room for any more slip-ups if his team are to reach the quarter-finals.

He said: “We must aim to win all four group matches and see where that takes us. Every one is as important as the others now.”

Maynard believes the key to success now lies in Somerset improving their form in the power plays.

“If we can get out of the first six overs with bat and ball in decent shape we tend to go on and play very well," he said.

“We have been conceding too many runs in the power play and losing too many wickets in the early overs of our innings.

“That has been putting us behind the eight ball and is something we have to think about and put right for Friday night.”

Craig Overton suffered concussion when struck on the helmet by a short ball from Matt Hobden during the drawn LV=County Championship game with Sussex at Taunton and is unlikely to face Kent.

Maynard said: “Craig’s injury will be reassessed over the next few days. While there is no hard an fast rule about concussion in county cricket, we will be following the protocol used in rugby.”

That means Somerset could well be unchanged from the side beaten by arch-rivals Gloucestershire at Taunton last Friday night.

But there may be changes to the batting order. Overseas signing Luke Ronchi blasted 5 sixes in that game, coming in as low as number six.

Tom Cooper, left out of the Championship against Sussex, will be in the squad to face Kent after a confidence-boosting century in a second XI fixture.

Maynard added: “It was great to see Tom respond with a hundred because we need competition for places in the batting department.

“Kent have been going really well in T20 this season, so it goes without saying that we face a tough match.

“But it is one we know we have to win and hopefully that will inspire a good performance.”