Kent Spitfires v Middlesex preview
Kent Spitfires v Middlesex preview

Kent Spitfires will host Middlesex at The Spitfire Ground St. Lawrence on Wednesday with the aim of taking a giant step towards T20 Blast Quarter Final qualification.

The team currently sit second in the south group with 10 points from seven games, one point ahead of third-placed Sussex and level with leaders Surrey.

Three games remain for all the teams in the group, and with the top two teams and two best third-placed sides across the three groups qualifying, a minimum of 12 points would more than likely be enough for Kent.

And the Spitfires go into the game extremely high on confidence after defeating Hampshire by eight wickets on Monday, largely thanks to England batsman Zak Crawley’s maiden T20 ton.

Middlesex meanwhile lost their last match, against Sussex, by 30 runs. They sit fourth in the group with six points.

The reverse fixture between the two teams delivered an exhilarating tie. With Kent heavy favourites going into the last over chasing 210 to win, Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson missed a run out chance off the last ball of the game and Kent ran a bye to ensure the points were shared.

Wednesday’s matchup could provide similar entertainment and Kent’s fire batting lineup will be relied on again after numerous positive performances this year.

Zak Crawley (third) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (fifth), Kent’s opening partnership, are high on the leading run scorer chart of the tournament with 304 and 269 runs respectively, and they will be supported by the likes of Joe Denly, Heino Kuhn and Alex Blake.

Fred Klaassen leads the way with the ball for Kent, taking nine wickets at 26.77 to date.

For Middlesex, opener Stevie Eskinazi tops the list of runs scored in the tournament with 350 runs from seven innings, whilst captain Steven Finn has shone with the ball, with 12 wickets at an average of 15.25.

In terms of Kent’s squad, Harry Podmore drops out from the squad for the win over Hampshire, whilst Sam Billings and Tom Groenewald are unavailable because of international commitments and illness respectively.

The game is being played behind closed doors, but it can be viewed on Kent’s website.

Kent Spitfires squad to face Middlesex: Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Calum Haggett, Fred Klaassen, Heino Kuhn, Jack Leaning, Matt Milnes, Marcus O’Riordan, Imran Qayyum, Ollie Robinson, Grant Stewart.

Middlesex squad to face Kent Spitfires: Steven Finn (C), Martin Andersson, Joe Cracknell, Miguel Cummins, Jack Davies, Stephen Eskinazi, James Harris, Tom Helm, Max Holden, Luke Hollman, Dan Lincoln, Tim Murtagh, John Simpson, Nathan Sowter, Thilan Walallawita.