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Walker keen to bounce back
Walker keen to bounce back

Kent go into the second week of their Vitality Blast campaign with one win and one defeat but with confidence in the camp boosted by two good performances. 

Looking ahead to the home games with Somerset and the return game with Surrey, coach Matt Walker told KSN about his perspective of the win against Gloucestershire and then the defeat to Surrey at The Oval.

“Obviously we would have been delighted to have won both games, but the way we played, the style we wanted to play and the brand of cricket that we wanted to play I think came to the fore against Gloucester with the really commanding win.”

“We were positive in the field and bowled really well and then chased the runs – we did not play it safe as we took it on, and I think it was reflective in Jordan Cox’s innings’ as he came in and finished it off and played really positively.”

“Actually, there was a lot of that at the Oval too – we started really well in the field, and I thought that Sam’s (Billings) captaincy was outstanding as we challenged them to take us on and it bought us some early success.”

“We then carried it on when we batted with Tawanda (Muyeye) and DBD were fantastic – those who followed played selflessly, but sadly it didn’t come off for us!”

“We gave it a real crack and we’re all proud of the two games – if you box what was an incredible innings from Sean Abbott, sometimes people will have those innings against you and they turn games away – we will take a lot away from the game and into Tuesday night against Somerset, and if we can keep playing as we have so far, I’m sure that we will win more games than we will lose!” 

Walker then heaped praise on the support the side received in that opening seven wicket win over Gloucester.

“It was fantastic,” the coach said, “It was the first game of the season, people were looking forward to the game. We hoped rather than expected what a great turnout we might have as they supported us so well over the years.”

“But when nearly four thousand people turn up at Canterbury on a Wednesday evening for the opening night is outstanding – I must admit that I was really taken aback by the level of support; it was great and they saw a really good win and we know that we’re going to need that level of support for the rest of the campaign as we’ve got some tough games against some very good sides, and they’ll be tighter than the Gloucester game I expect, so we’ll need that support and as I said, if we can keep playing that same brand of cricket, they’ll be in for some really exciting cricket.” 

“Games come thick and fast, and we know it asks an awful lot of members and the supporters to keep backing us so brilliantly when there is such a small gap between some of the games, we all – myself and the team – really do appreciate their efforts to back us!” 

Tonight’s game with Somerset sees the return of New Zealand seamer Matt Henry to Canterbury – but not in Kent colours. Walker told us, “We caught up with him the other day when we were in London, and it was odd seeing him in Somerset gear!”

“We know all about him – he’s had a lot of history with us now and they are happy memories, but when it comes to Tuesday, I am sure he will be looking to do well against us, and our lads will be looking to really get into him.”

“Alongside Matt, Somerset have got a good attack and their batting side is really powerful! We’ve had some great tussles over the years with them.” 

“We’re not quite fully fit – Matt Quinn isn’t quite there yet; Nathan Gilchrist still isn’t fit, and Fred Klaassen is away on personal reasons – we’ve not got too many selection problems, but be assured that we’ll look at all the options after practice this afternoon (Monday) and we’ll think about the side for Tuesday in front of we hope another four thousand on Tuesday evening!” 

Picture supplied by Max Flego Photography.