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Sam Billings back for NatWest T20 Blast against Middlesex

Friday 24th June 2016

Men’s First Team

England T20 wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings is fit to return for the NatWest T20 Blast against Middlesex on Friday night.

The 25-year-old missed the Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan with a hand injury before his deputy Adam Rouse suffered a fractured and dislocated finger in the fixture.

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Rouse, 23, underwent surgery on Thursday and is expecting a lengthy spell on the sidelines but head coach Jimmy Adams paid tribute to Rouse’s commitment in batting through the pain and achieving a career best score of 65 this week.

“It’s a real shame for Adam because his wicketkeeping this season has been excellent and has made some valuable contributions with the bat.

“The bravery and commitment showed by Adam speaks volumes of him.

“He is a great team player and a hard worker, always putting the needs of the team before his own.

“The club will provide all the support Adam needs during his recovery and we remain hopeful he can take part in some competitive cricket this season.”

Opener Daniel Bell-Drummond sits out on Friday night with a hand injury so New Zealand batsman Tom Latham is likely to open the batting.

Matt Coles and Ivan Thomas are also unavailable so left-arm all-rounder Adam Ball, paceman Matt Hunn or slow left-armer Imran Qayyum could come into the Spitfires attack.

Middlesex are set to include former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum although compatriot Mitchell McClenaghan has ended his spell at Lord’s with a hip injury and England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan and paceman Steven Finn are away on international duty.

Kent Spitfires squad: 17 Sam Northeast (c), 6 Joe Denly, 48 Tom Latham, 7 Sam Billings (w), 3 Darren Stevens, 10 Alex Blake, 30 Fabian Cowdrey, 24 Adam Ball, 15 James Tredwell, 8 Mitch Claydon, 18 David Griffiths, 14 Matt Hunn, 11 Imran Qayyum.

Middlesex squad: 29 Dawid Malan (captain), 42 Brendon McCullum, 39 Paul Stirling, 74 James Franklin, 20 John Simpson, 18 Nick Gubbins, 11 Ryan Higgins, 2 Ollie Rayner, 21 Toby Roland-Jones, 26 James Fuller, 72 Nathan Sowter, 5 James Harris,28 Stephen Eskinazi, 23 Harry Podmore.

Kent Spitfires v Middlesex stats:

o Seven of the last 10 meetings between these sides have been won by Middlesex (L3).

o Kent Spitfires have only lost one of their last four at home against all sides (W2 T1).

o 24% of the death over deliveries recorded by David Griffiths (Kent Spitfires) have been yorkers; the highest share of anyone to bowl 4+ overs from the 16th over.

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