Kent Spitfires vs Sussex Sharks – Preview
Kent Spitfires vs Sussex Sharks – Preview

Kent Spitfires return to T20 Blast action this afternoon as they welcome Sussex Sharks to The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence.

Matt Walker’s side currently sit top of the south group level on points with Surrey, though having played a game fewer, and one point ahead of Sussex.

They look set to qualify for the quarterfinals at the halfway stage with three wins, one tie and one no result to their name, but there are still five games to play and Saturday will perhaps provide their toughest test of their remaining matchups.

In the reverse fixture, Kent were victorious by just one run after Fred Klaassen defended one with two balls, and the teams hardly could have been closer during the game.

That has been Sussex’s only defeat of their campaign so far, with three wins, one loss and one no result on the board.

With captain Sam Billings unavailable for selection due to England commitments, Daniel Bell-Drummond has led the Kent side and is the Spitfires’ highest run scorer in the tournament, and second overall, with 228 runs from five innings.

Sussex’s captain Luke Wright has also led his side well, and is the Sharks’ leading run scorer, in fact the tournament’s leading run scorer, with 240 runs, helped by his 83 in Sussex’s 13 run win at Hampshire on Thursday.

Kent will be boosted by the return of Joe Denly after the 34-year-old was released from the England bubble. He is likely to bat at number three. 

One big loss though will be bowler Matt Milnes, who has not been named in the 14 man squad.

Sussex have meanwhile welcomed the return of England bowler Chris Jordan, and allrounder Ravi Bopara is available after missing the reverse fixture.

Jofra Archer is unavailable due to England duty.

Kent Spitfires squad to face Sussex Sharks: Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Tim Groenewald, Calum Haggett, Fred Klaassen, Heino Kuhn, Jack Leaning, Hamidullah Qadri, Imran Qayyum, Ollie Robinson, Grant Stewart.

Sussex Sharks squad to face Kent Spitfires: Luke Wright (C), Will Beer, Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Ben Brown, George Garton, Chris Jordan, Calum MacLeod, Stuart Meaker, Tymal Mills, Delray Rawlins, Ollie Robinson, Aaron Thomason, David Wiese.