About the Match
The upcoming encounter between Kent and Essex on 18th June will be held at St. Lawrence Ground, Canterbury. Kent has attained 8 points from 7 matches, winning four games and are placed on the 5th spot while Essex have also played 8 matches winning 4 to accumulate 8 points but are placed at the 4th position with a superior NRR. Kent and Essex are hungry to do well and move ahead in their campaign; both of them will do their best to add another two points in their tally when they meet on Thursday.
Essex cruised to a 7 wicket victory over Sussex in their last match to make it back to back wins and boost their chances of progressing further. A punishing stand of 99 in 12 overs between Mark Pettini, who scored 48 and Tom Westley who posted 47 runs, set up a comfortable victory for Essex with 3.2 overs to spare. A tight bowling spell from paceman Shaun Tait’s 3-29 and Ravi Bopara’s 2-19 restricted Sussex to 140/9. Essex also gained its 3rd win against Gloucestershire by 18 runs; Pettini posted 68 while Foster scored 21 from just 9 balls to help the team. Napier played an important role by picking 3-30 and he received good support from Westley, who took 2-27. Overall, Essex is a team with a good blend of experienced and talented players like Pettini, Westley, Ryder and Bopara who are some of the most successful batsmen in the tournament so far. Tait has been outstanding with 13 wickets till now while Napier, Bopara and Westley are in good form to take regular wickets and provide the breakthroughs.
Kent surrendered their previous match against Hampshire by 6 wickets after setting 183 in a game reduced to 18 overs; Hampshire attained the target by smashing 187 with a loss of only 4 wickets. Sam Northeast posted 54 off 33 balls, Alex Blake scored 49 off 25 balls and Darren Stevens scored 25 off 17 to help the team set a competitive total on board. However, on the bowling front, apart from Coles who took 2 wickets others couldn’t restrict the opponent from reaching the target. Kent also suffered their second blow of the event when they were outplayed by Gloucestershire by a big margin of 9 wickets. Bell-Drummond, Billings and Cowdrey contributed 31, 26 and 23 runs respectively to post a good total of 156; however, the bowlers against failed to step up with their performance and except for Claydon who took a single wicket, others failed to impress with the ball. Northeast and Blake are the main run-getters while other batsmen should try to build big and quick innings. Claydon and Coles have been their most successful bowlers in the tournament with 7 and 9 wickets respectively while bowlers Riley, Haggett, Stevens and Cowdery should work hard for better results.
Kent are in a bit of a rut at the moment, having lost their last two games but they will definitely try to bounce back in the next match. Essex have done well to garner 8 points with their recent wins being very impressive without being dependent on any one player. Essex has received a major morale boost after 2 successive wins and we feel that they are better placed to win the next match.