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Simon Cook previews Twenty20 Finals Day

Thursday 13th August 2009

THE Kent Spitfires are back at the scene of their 2007 triumph this weekend, hoping to win the Twenty20 Cup for a second time. After beating Gloucestershire in the final two years ago, the Spitfires return to Edgbaston – looking to reach the final for the third year in a row. Standing in their way is another in-form side, the Somerset Sabres. With Marcus Trescothick, Justin Langer and former Kent all-rounder Peter Trego in their side, Somerset have some experienced and talented performers so the second semi-final should be a great game to watch.

Simon Cook (pictured), often an unsung hero in the Kent side, is relishing another T20 Finals Day: "We are all looking forward to Edgbaston. We obviously have good memories, with out win there in 2007, but it will be very hard this year. Somerset are a quality side and, like us, have some good players. They have people who can turn it on and cause us problems."

Simon is one of the more experienced players in the Spitfires side. So does he get nervous going into big days like this? "We haven’t really been able to think too much about T20 Finals Day because we have our current game to worry about. We want to beat Northants and go to Edgbaston full of confidence. I guess I will start to think about it more tomorrow morning. When we get to the ground, and look around, then I think we will start to think what a big day it is but it’s great to play in the big games. The T20 is always popular and there will be a good crowd in to watch so we are all very much looking forward to it."

And how pleasing is it to have overseas player Wayne Parnell back in the side? "Everyone is pleased to see Wayne back because he offers that bit of variety that all bowling attacks need. He is a genuinely quick left-arm bowler and has great talent. He is only 20 but has the quality that all teams look for. He will be a big player for us on the day, I’m sure of it."

And what are Kent’s chances? "It’s too difficult to say how it will go because Twenty20 is all about who performs on the day. We have the players to be successful but what a tough year it promises to be. I know people say it year-upon-year but I really feel that it will be a close-run thing this year."

And is this competition the one Kent really wants to win? "Yes, we would love to win the T20. This competition and the LV County Championship are at the front of our minds. We only have a small squad so I guess the Nat West Pro40 might have to take a bit of a back-seat but we will be fully up for the other two competitions and keen on winning them both – along with a number of other counties! I’m very much looking forward to Finals Day. I know that we have sold our allocation so we will have a good following up in Birmingham and it should be a great day for all concerned."

Tomorrow“s opening semi-final starts at 11.30am and will be contested between the Northants Steelbacks and the Sussex Sharks.

The Kent Spitfires then play the Somerset Sabres at 3pm with the final getting underway at 7.15pm.

With the Northants game still in progress, Kent will delay naming their squad until the morning of the game.