YB40 Match Preview: Nottinghamshire Outlaws v Kent Spitfires

Tuesday 7th May 2013

Men’s First Team

Nottinghamshire Outlaws v Kent Spitfires

Yorkshire Bank 40 – Group A

8 May, 2013 – 4.10pm start

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

After opening their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign with a memorable one-run win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, Kent Spitfires travel to another Test match venue – Trent Bridge – to take on Nottinghamshire Outlaws in front of the Sky television cameras.

The season so far:

Both teams started off with a win over the weekend but it was Kent who got off to the most dramatic of starts. A limited-overs best score of 98 not-out from the in-form Brendan Nash was the cornerstone of a solid 239 for eight after the Bears invited James Tredwell’s side to bat first. 44 from former captain Rob Key and a sprightly 28 from Adam Ball helped Kent post a competitive total.

The Bears chase got off to a flier with England’s Ian Bell hitting a quick-fire 35 before Matt Coles had him caught in the deep. Mark Davies then dismissed Bell’s national team colleague, Jonathan Trott, cheaply before Varun Chopra (65) and Will Porterfield (47) took the score to 148-2 as the hosts looked to be cruising. However, two run-outs and two wickets for spinner Adam Riley soon had Warwickshire in trouble as they subsided to 185 for eight. With wickets and balls running out, the visitors were odds-on favourites to claim the win before Jeetan Patel smashed fifty, off just 27 balls, to leave the Bears requiring just five off the last over. Tredwell turned to 20 year-old Ball to bowl the final over and the left-armer belied his tender years to seal a memorable one-run success by running out Patel off the last ball in stunning fashion.

The Outlaws were more comfortable in their opening 83-run victory against Northants Steelbacks at Wantage Road. James Taylor (108) and Samit Patel (95) powered the Outlaws total of 287-4, contributing 149 for the third wicket. The home side were never in the hunt as Patel completed a fine all-round performance, returning 3-30, to restrict Northants to 204 for eight.

Previous meetings:

The two teams were last paired together in the 2010 CB40 qualifying stages but sadly rain destroyed play in the corresponding fixture at Trent Bridge. A ten-over thrash was attempted, with Kent reaching 78 for two off just 6.1 overs, before the rain returned to ruin play for the day. In the short period of action, Key smashed 44 off just 18 balls, a knock that included three sixes. That year Kent narrowly missed out on a semi-final place after finishing second in Group C, with the Outlaws down in third.

Players to watch:

In Tredwell’s first limited-overs game leading the Spitfires, the side fielded two spinners with Adam Riley coming into the side. The 21 year-old justified his selection, picking up the wickets of Porterfield and Darren Maddy, and looks set to play an important part in the Spitfires one-day side, especially when the captain is away on international duty with England.

Nottinghamshire have a daunting batting line-up on paper and James Taylor showed his quality, smashing 108 off 102 balls against Northants. The diminutive right-hander averages over 47 in List A matches and is sure to be a danger to Kent on the evening.

Pre-match chat:

Adam Ball’s first appearance of the season against Warwickshire couldn’t have been any more dramatic. Firstly his quick-fire 28 helped Kent post a challenging total before the former England under-19 captain held his nerve to concede just two runs off the bat in the final over to seal victory. The all-rounder was understandably delighted with his display:

“It was good to be back in the first-team. I've not been a part of the Championship side so it was nice to get an opportunity and play my part in such a great win. I got off to a decent start with the bat and was stroking it about nicely. Nashy (Brendan Nash) has obviously been batting well and I've started the season positively with the second-team. After getting off to such a good start, I was disappointed to not fully capitalise with my innings. I really wanted to kick on but I put a full toss straight down the throat of mid-wicket. I was gutted, especially as we felt we were 30 or 40 light at the halfway stage.”

The decision to give Ball the final over highlights the confidence the Kent hierarchy have in their young star and he certainly didn’t disappoint:

“I had three overs in my first spell and felt I was a little unlucky. I had a good LBW shout turned down, in my first over, and then had a few squirt away for four. I wondered if I would get back on but Tredy (James Tredwell) called me on for the last over and I thought I was in a no-lose situation. They were the favourites, needing only five to win, but I knew that if I held my nerve then we had a decent chance. The final ball was interesting. He whacked it back to me but I managed to dive to my left, despite slipping, and ran him out. It was great to win the game. My fist was pumping and I looked around and saw Jimmy running towards me. He had jumped the advertising boards and was heading my way so we had a big hug and then all of the boys joined in! That moment is definitely one of the highlights of my career so far. It was a great feeling. You play cricket for those type of moments so it was great to experience it.”

Kent have a tricky qualifying group but the win in Birmingham got them off to the best possible start and Ball knows momentum is the key:

“We have been paired with some real good sides so we will need to play some decent cricket, but winning at Warwickshire shows the other teams that we are not there to be taken lightly. The likes of Notts (our latest opponents) and Sussex will be there or thereabouts but if we can build up some momentum and keep winning then we will put ourselves in with a shout.”

It was Ball’s first outing of the summer and he hopes his performance will open the door to further inclusion in the first-team:

“I hope that my performance at Edgbaston might give me a chance of making some further appearances. Sadly I can't play against Nottinghamshire (because of education commitments) but I've started well with the second-team and nearly played against Northants recently. I just missed out but performing well will only help my chances and I hope that there will be plenty more of them.”

Team news:

Kent are forced into making at least one change from the side that edged past Warwickshire, with final-over hero Adam Ball unavailable. All-rounders Ben Harmison and Calum Haggett are included in the 12-man squad with one of them set to replace Ball.

Spitfires: (from) Tredwell (c), Key, Billings, Nash, Stevens, Northeast, Jones (wk), Coles, Harmison, Haggett, Davies, Riley.

Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell has already announced the Outlaws side will be unchanged from the one that powered past Northants on Sunday. This means batsman James Taylor plays ahead of linking up with the England Lions squad on Thursday and England’s premier spin bowler Graeme Swann will also be in action at Trent Bridge.

Outlaws: Read (c, wk), Hales, Lumb, Wessels, Taylor, Patel, Mullaney, Swann, Carter, Ball, Gurney

Photo: Sarah Ansell