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Willis previews NatWest Pro40 trip to Derbyshire

Friday 21st August 2009

YOUTH will get its chance again when the Kent Spitfires play the Derbyshire Phantoms in the NatWest Pro40 tomorrow. After a last-over success over Leicestershire in their last match, the Spitfires have named an unchanged side for the game against Derbyshire at Chesterfield.

Kent“s Professional Cricket Manager, Simon Willis (pictured), says the youngsters deserve to keep their places: “We were very impressed with the younger players up at Leicester. They did well and helped see us over the line. The County Championship is our main competition now. We want to win it and go straight back up. We would obviously like to do well in the Pro40 too but it will take a backseat to the Championship.”

With Rob Key once again rested, all-rounder Justin Kemp will continue to captain the side. Willis was pleased with his contribution up at Grace Road: “Justin is an experienced player and did well in our win at Leicester. He has been in tight situations before over the years, with both South Africa and Kent. He led the side well and looked in good touch with the bat on a difficult wicket. It was pleasing to beat Leicester as it extended our unbeaten run in this competition to three matches.”

So what about Derbyshire as opponents – how does Willis rate them as a side? “Derbyshire are a useful side. Like us, they are unbeaten in this competition and will want to do well. The game is being played at Chesterfield, on an out-ground, so it will be interesting to see how the wicket plays. If our boys perform then we have a good chance of winning the game.”

Kent Spitfires: Hockley, Northeast, Blake, Kemp (C), Stevens, Mahmood, Tredwell, Dixey (W), Ferley, Khan, Edwards, Coles