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One of the most-awaited South Group contest if finally in the reckoning. Kent Spitfires and Sussex Sharks have historically been two of the best-performing sides in the competition and have a long-standing on-field rivalry. They are all set to take on each other in the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast match, which is to be played at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, on 12th September 2020.
Considering that the two sides are neck and neck on the points table, with a difference of only one point, the winner of this match will move to the top of the table position in addition of getting a step closer to the knockouts. The adrenaline will be running high and we expect a cracker of a clash between the two sides.
Kent continued to march on their merry ways as they cruised past Essex in their previous T20 Blast encounter. The win consolidated their position at the top of the ladder, taking them a couple of points ahead of Sussex, the next best team on the points table. Kent Spitfires have so far won three games of five, sharing points in the remaining two.
It was all Daniel Bell Drummond show as he continued to build on his superb form to lead Kent to a remarkable 29-run win. He played a brilliant 81-run knock to take his team to a towering total, which proved too much for the Eagles. Batting first, Kent got off to a flying start with Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell Drummond adding 81 runs for the first wicket. They suffered a mini-collapse thereafter with only Alex Blake leading the charge in the middle-order but still managed to put 192 runs on the board. Given that the Spitfires' middle-order has done well up until now, they wouldn't be too concerned with their performance in the previous match.
While Daniel Bell Drummond's knock was instrumental in taking Kent to a challenging score, their bowlers played a vital role as well. Essex Eagles got off to a flying start but were pulled back beautifully by the Spitfires in the middle-overs. Fred Klaasen, Tim Groenewald, and Grant Steward played a good supporting role with Imran Qayyum leading the charge. Qayyum gave away just 25 runs in his four overs and picked up three wickets in the process. Kent eventually restricted Essex to a total of 163, winning the match by 29 runs.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Heino Kuhn, Alex Blake, Jack Leaning, JM Cox, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett, Imran Qayyum, Fred Klaassen.
With a recent win over Hampshire, Sussex bridged their gap with Kent Spitfires and move to the second spot on the ladder. Now, they are right behind Kent Spitfires, with seven points to their name, thanks to three wins in five matches. A win in the upcoming will take Sussex to the top of the table and a step closer to the knockouts.
Even though Sussex Sharks are sitting in a pretty good position, their campaign so far has been far from flawless. They got off to a terrific start, winning their first two completed matches, but failed to keep their winning run intact. They succumbed to scoreboard pressure while chasing a mammoth total against Kent in their subsequent game. With a win over Hampshire in their next game, which is also the last game they played, Sussex moved back to the second spot.
Batting first against Hampshire on a tricky surface, Sussex failed to get off the kind of start they were looking for. They lost Calum MacLeod early and Ravi Bopara followed him back to the pavilion soon thereafter. Despite losing a couple of quick wickets, Sussex Sharks kept playing their shots and with an excellent fourth-wicket partnership between Luke Wright and David Wiese, they managed to put a reasonably good total on the board. Luke Wright ended up scoring 83 runs off 59 deliveries and Wiese scored 41 off 26.
Though the surface had assistance for the bowlers and surface wasn't optimal to bat on, it was going to be a difficult job to keep Hampshire from chasing the total. Danny Briggs and Tymal Mills bowled brilliantly in the first few overs, bowling in tight channels, which induced false shots and eventually resulted in wickets. Danny Briggs and Tymal Mills both picked up a couple of wickets each without giving away too many runs. With measured bowling throughout, the Sharks eventually won the match by 13 runs.
Sussex looked brilliant in the first half of the league stage, but much of the work was done by the opening pair of Phil Salt and Luke Wright. Now that Phil Salt is not available, they appear to be a little fragile at the top. If Calum MacLeod, Salt's replacement, is able to assist Wright at the top, continuing with the momentum will not be a difficult task for the Sharks.
Luke Wright, Calum MacLeod, Delray Rawlins, RS Bopara, D Wiese, Chris Jordan, Ben Brown, Ollie Robinson, George Garton, Danny Briggs, Tymal Mills.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 match between Kent Spitfires and Susses Sharks. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
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