Shaw comes into the squad for Panthers t20 tie

Tuesday 22nd June 2010

Middlesex Panthers v Kent Spitfires
Friends Provident t20 – South Division
Thursday, 24 June 2010 – 6.15pm start
Lord“s, London

As we enter the second-half of the qualifying stages of the Friends Provident t20 every match is crucial and none more so for the Kent Spitfires as they travel to headquarters to take on a star-studded Middlesex Panthers outfit.

Rob Key“s men face a tough challenge if they are to occupy one of the top four places in the south division and move through to the quarter-finals but, such is the tight nature of the group, a couple of wins for the Spitfires could see them get back in the mix as they bid to go all the way through to their fourth consecutive finals day.

The Spitfires were in action on Wednesday night when they lost to the Surrey Lions by 44 runs at Beckenham. Batting first, Surrey scored 201 for four from their 20 overs, thanks largely to a century from youngster Jason Roy. He hit an unbeaten 101, from just 57 balls, which included 11 fours and six maximums. Former Kent overseas player Andrew Symonds then smashed a quick fire 31 at the end of the innings. In reply, Martin van Jaarsveld top scored for the Spitfires. The opener hit 82 but it was all in vain as the visitors registered victory at the County Ground.

The Panthers, now led by Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist after the resignation of veteran spinner Shaun Udal, have picked up three wins form their opening six matches, however their previous outing ended in defeat for the London side. Taking on Surrey, under the lights at Lord“s, the Panthers batted first and struggled up to 128-9 with 44 from England batsman Owais Shah proving to be the only main contribution. The visitors then cruised to victory, by nine wickets with three overs to spare, as Lions skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown smashed a 49-ball 73 to condemn Middlesex to defeat.

The Spitfires and the Panthers have already come face-to-face this season in this competition, with Aussie legend Gilchrist in imperious form. The big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman hadn“t set the world alight in his opening couple of t20 games but an unexpected appearance, captaining the side for the first time, at Canterbury changed all that. The evening started well for the Spitfires though as they posted a very competitive 183-6 batting first. The total was powered by 50 from Martin van Jaarsveld and Joe Denly (44) and a challenging chase for the Panthers seemed likely.

Unfortunately for Kent they met Gilchrist at his most brutal best. From the outset the left-hander looked in fine form. He smashed 106 from just 52 balls – an innings that included seven maximums. The knock led the Panthers to a six-wicket victory, with an over to spare. Out of the home side“s bowling attack only Azhar Mahmood (2-27) and promising all-rounder Matt Coles (2-33) were spared the brutal force of a true cricketing great.

Seam-bowler Ashley Shaw (pictured)has been added to the squad for the trip to Lord“s. The left-armer is named in a 13-man squad by team director Paul Farbrace.

Kent Spitfires: Kent Spitfires: Key (C), van Jaarsveld, Northeast, G Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Mahmood, Tredwell, Coles, Bandara, Cook, Goodman, Shaw.

Travel information
The Waterloo and City Underground lines will be closed for engineering works on the day of the game. All other underground lines look set to be unaffected but supporters are urged to visit, before departing, for up-to-date travel information.

Picture: Sarah Ansell