About the Match
Kent Spitfires with just 7 points from 3 wins in 8 matches and Hampshire Royals with 12 points from 6 wins in 9 matches will be fighting it out at Canterbury on 4th July in the NatWest T20 Blast series. The two teams have met earlier on 5th June with Hampshire winning the match by a huge margin of 22 runs; Kent played Gloucestershire Gladiators recently on 27th June resulting in a win for the Gladiators by 4 wickets. The present tie will be quite interesting and it needs to be seen if the Hampshire team can repeat its earlier winning performance and maintain its position in the points table or if Kent can reverse the trend.
When they played against Hampshire on 5th June, they fielded first with the choice being made by the opponent; a weak bowling attack by Bollinger, Claydon, Tredwell and Riley saw the opponents dominate them and set a target of 172. Bollinger’s 3 wickets and the other three bowlers taking 1 each did not cause a dent on the Hampshire batsmen. Chasing the tall target, Key and Northeast tried their best to save the match, with Key scoring a well-made 89 off 63 balls but they failed to maintain the asking rate and even with 6 wickets in hand, they could not reach the target, losing the match having made just 149 for 4 at the end of 20 overs. In their match against Gloucs on 27th June, they were asked to bat first and made 150 for 6 because of a good knock of 75 off 49 balls by Northeast; but again their bowlers failed to stop the run-flow though Claydon took 3 wickets with Dougie Bollinger, James Tredwell, Ball and Griffiths taking one each. So, they could neither chase successfully nor defend a good target and they have to find ways to reverse the trend, by improving in their bowling attack.
Hampshire challenged Kent in their earlier encounter on 5th June by putting a healthy score of 171 for the loss of 7 wickets, thanks to a good knock of 73 off 58 balls by Carberry and 47 off 26 balls by Adams. The duo took full advantage of a weak bowling attack and pulverized them to set up a tall target; they defended well with Briggs claiming 3 wickets in spite of a superb batting display by opener Key, who was well supported by Northeast with 35 off 27, but this effort went in vain as they could not maintain the required asking rate facilitating a thumping win by 22 runs for Hampshire. Hampshire lost their latest match against Surrey on 27th June as they made only 131 for 9 batting first and that was not good enough to defend against a strong in-form Surrey bating line up, led by Roy and TM Dilshan. Hampshire needs to improve in all departments of the game if they hope to win against Kent and improve their ranking on the points table.
Both teams have suffered defeat in their recent matches and will be eager to come out all guns blazing at this stage of the competition. While Kent is expected to put up a strong resistance, Hampshire looks to be in a much better shape to win the match on this Friday.
Hampshire Royals, 1.90 @ Bet365