About the Match
The NatWest T20 Blast got off to a cracker of a start as matches were across the field and had the spectators at the edge of their seats. Essex lost their opening match to Surrey by 2 runs while Kent will be starting their campaign and will want to get off to a winning start.
Kent finished third from the bottom last year but did win 6 matches out of 14. This year, they have recruited some very useful T20 players like Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham and are also likely to have the services of Sam Billings for the entire duration of the competition.
Led by Sam Northeast, who had a fantastic season with the bat last time around scoring 462 runs at a strike rate of 145.28, Kent will be definite contenders this time around. The power hitting for Kent was provided by Joe Denly and Darren Stevens last season.
Kent is a chasing team and we expect them to try and utilize their depth in the batting department to try and haul in targets.
Their bowling though looks a little light although the addition of Milne and Neesham should definitely help. If Darren Stevens and David Griffiths are able to reproduce their form from last time, having taken 11 and 13 wickets respectively, then Kent should definitely be a handful for any teams that they encounter.
Essex got to the finals day last year thanks to their fourth place finish in the South Group and they are definite contenders to do the same this time around as well. The loss in the first game to Surrey by 2 runs will hurt them especially since they were in a winning position right up to the last over.
The addition of Mohammad Amir to their team paid immediate dividends as he took out Jason Roy in the first over but failed to have to make any significant impact after that. However, there is no doubt that Amir’s presence in the team is going to lend it some solid star power.
Leading the charge for Essex is Ravi Bopara, former England international who seems to have lost favor after the 2015 world cup but still has enough talent to be a domestic cricket legend. Not only did Bopara top-score with 75 but he was also by far the best bowler for Essex.
His form will determine the way Essex goes in this competition. With other players like Ryan Ten Doeschate, Tom Westley, Varun Chopra and Ashar Zaidi in their squad, Essex has a fantastic batting lineup that should back themselves to chase most scores o most occasions.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is expected to be dry with maybe some clouds around but all indications say that there should be no problem getting a full game in. The pitch is usually excellent for batting, although, the spinners may find a little bit of purchase.
Essex To Wi