Kent Spitfires v Hampshire – Natwest T20 Blast at 18:30 live on Sky Sports 2
Kent and Hampshire lock horns in the latest televised T20 Blast match, this time from the South Group. It’s been a slow start for both counties with one win and two defeats. It might still be early days, but a loss here for either side means it will be a tall order to qualify for the quarter-finals. These teams have remarkably already played each other in the Blast this year (good old ECB scheduling), with Hampshire winning out by 9 runs having successfully defended a lowly 158.
Expect a balmy summers evening in the south-east, with cloudless skies and temperatures in the low 20’s set for Canterbury on Wednesday night.
Here is a list of 1st innings scores at Canterbury in recent T20 Blast matches –
2016 – 197 – Average 197
2015 – 142, 173, 173, 183, 185 – Average 171
2014 – 175, 195, 173, 149, 189, 208, 136 – Average 175
Here’s a list of Kent‘s last 10 scores when batting 1st in T20’s –
144, 142, 173, 231, 183, 156, 227, 193, 185, 175 – Average 181
Here’s a list of Hampshire‘s last 10 scores when batting 1st in T20’s –
141, 158, 115, 196, 143, 204, 116, 186, 157, 199 – Average 162
Sam Northeast leads a post Rob Key-era Kent side in T20 cricket, and the counties side is full of home-grown talent with bat and ball. Northeast himself was third highest scorer in the 2015 Blast with 641 runs scored at an average of 49.3. Opener Daniel Bell-Drummond has been mentioned as a potential England opener and comes into this match in decent touch with scores of 83*, 64 and 25 in this seasons T20 Blast. Sam Billings (below) has England international honours plus experience of the IPL, having played several matches for Delhi last month. Darren Stevens might now be the wrong side of 40 but he’s still hitting sixes and taking wickets whilst Alex Blake’s 304 runs last year from the middle order were made at a SR of 167. The bowling attack is led by Matt Coles who took a career best 4-27 in last week’s defeat to Hampshire. Ex-England spinner James Tredwell is always miserly with a career economy of 7.1 per over whilst former Durham seamer Mitch Claydon took 20 wickets in 14 matches last season at an average of 20.3 apiece – however, he’s likely to be missing here with a side strain.
Hampshire will be without the 2015 competitions leading run scorer, James Vince, who is away with England. Sean Ervine will likely lead the side in Vince’s absence, but he’s made a miserable 1 run in 3 innings in this year’s T20 Blast. James Adams is an exciting opening batsman who averages 24 in this format whilst wicket-keeper Adam Wheater now bats in the top four, having made 314 runs in last year’s competition. Overseas stars Darren Sammy and Shahid Afridi need no introduction with Afridi in particular looking in fine fettle with bat and ball, having taken 6 wickets and scored 61 runs in his 3 matches so far. Seamer Chris Wood is out for the season and Danny Briggs and Yasir Arafat have moved on – these three shared 53 wickets last year. Will Smith leads the attack, having taken 14 wickets at just 7.3 runs per over in 2015, but the bowling looks weak.
Sam Billings might have only played a combined 11 ODI’s and T20I’s for England, but that was enough for the Delhi Daredevils to snap up the dashing Kent top order batsman-wicket keeper for the 2016 IPL. Billings only made 88 runs in his 5 innings for the Delhi franchise, but the manner in which he complied a high score of 54 off 34 balls to set-up a win against Kolkata was hugely impressive. Further international caps are likely this summer.
Michael Carberry is year-on-year one of T20 crickets leading run scorers. Last year the left-handed opener compiled 456 runs at a SR of 136 for Hampshire, beaten only by 7 other batsmen in the 2015 T20 Blast. Carberry has also spent the past few seasons playing T20 cricket in the BBL for Perth Scorchers, scoring 87 runs in 4 knocks last winter.
If Kent bat first, I recommend taking any OVER RUNS around the 175-177 mark.
If Hampshire bat first, I recommend taking any OVER RUNS around the 167-169 mark.
Top Batsman Market
There’s no reason to oppose Daniel Bell-Drummond here to top score for Kent. The in-form opener can be backed at 4.33
Carberry looks a tad short at 4.00 so let’s look down the order for Darren Sammy to take advantage of smaller than average boundaries to top score for Hampshire at 13.0
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