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Denly hoping to have a Blast
Denly hoping to have a Blast

As Kent Spitfires return to Canterbury this weekend to start another T20 Blast home campaign, Joe Denly is as eager as ever to take the County to the title for what would be a third time for the 38-year-old all-rounder. 

After being the only man to play in both successful Blast campaigns for the County – in 2007 and 2021 – speaking to KSN this week ahead of the competition returning to The Spitfire Ground with the visits of Somerset and Middlesex to the Spitfire Ground, Denly confessed “I enjoy playing this format as it is always a great part of the season.”

“The games always have a great atmosphere and I guess that it does not matter how old you are, you can always have a bit of fun and T20 nights here at Canterbury bring out the fun side of me!” 

“It is a completely different game – it’s fast tempo, you have got to think on your feet a lot more. You have got to plan against opposition bowlers that you want to “take-down” and can be very draining physically and mentally as it’s three hours of non-stop work as four-day cricket drags out a bit more.”

“Trying to stay mentally and physically fresh is probably the biggest challenge through this block in the next three weeks and eight games.” 

Reflecting on the start of the County season, Denly said, “I feel like we have been in games that we’ve played in the Championship, but we have had an hour or two or a session where we have been “off,” and the best teams capitalise on those moments.”

“We have not been able to claw our way back into the game and I think that moving forward, our consistency levels must be spot on in every single session that we play, as once you get behind, especially in Division One cricket, it is really hard to get back, especially against those top teams.”

“It is about taking the opportunity when we have it and being ruthless with the bat producing big scores. We have got a few hundreds on the board – I think that there have been opportunities to have a few more and really drive games forward.”

“If we had done that and given our bowlers more to bowl at, we would have come away with more positive results!” 

The Spitfires go into the weekend having beaten Sunday’s opponents Middlesex by a record margin and then lost narrowly to Hampshire.

“We had a great start which was a real team performance,” Denly recalled, “It was a good team effort whilst Hampshire was frustrating as I think we were ahead of the game for the majority until that sixteenth, seventeenth over with the ball, but these things happen and that’s T20 cricket as it only takes a single over where a team gets itself back into a game.”

“They were able to do that unfortunately, but I think that we are still doing a lot of good things and we will certainly take that into the weekend.” 

“You go into every game looking to win. We have a process and a style of play that we really believe in and that is being attacking, fearless and leaving everything out there, so I think if we do that more often than not, we will win enough games to qualify for the Quarter Finals.” 

Much has been said about Joe playing with his nephew Jadyn. “It’s been great seeing him develop over the last few years especially,” confessed a proud Uncle.

“It was a pretty cool feeling playing with him last year in the One Day Cup and this year in the Championship at Essex, having a batting partnership with him… the family were all very proud indeed!”