About the Match
Both Somerset and Kent suffered defeats in their recent outings and are placed in the 7th and 8th positions respectively; they will take on each other in the upcoming match on 7th July at Taunton. While Somerset lost the match against Gloucs by 7 wickets, Kent lost to Essex by a huge margin of 50 runs, unable to chase down a formidable target of 205. The two teams are separated by just 1 point and this will be a close contest; it needs to be seen which one of them succeeds in keeping a cool head above its shoulders and emerge victorious on Thursday.
The top-order has been failing to build the foundation, whether in setting a target or chasing totals; Jim Allenby, Myburgh, Trego, Jayawardene and Gregory need to play pivotal roles in helping the team build partnerships. Against Gloucs, Jayawardene top-scored with 41 off 34 while Trego and Myburgh contributed with 32 and 25 runs respectively; however, 167 runs was difficult to defend by the bowlers despite speedster Jamie Overton’s superb 3-33.
Against Middlesex, the batsmen failed to chase down 93 runs in a reduced 9-overs contest; they lost wickets at regular intervals and Jayawardene’s duck-out caused further damage, losing the match by a heart-wrenching 4 runs. Spinners Max Waller and Roelof van der Merwe were economical and took a wicket each; however, the others gave away too many runs, which cost them in the end.
Both the batting and bowling departments need to pull up their socks and come back stronger here; they have talented bowlers like the Overton brothers, Merwe, Waller and medium-pacer Gregory but they should execute the strategy to perfection in order to stifle the Kent batsmen on Thursday.
When they met Somerset in the opening game of the season, Kent had registered an 8-wicket victory after successfully chasing down a massive target of 198 with more than 2 overs to spare thanks to a stupendous 150-run opening stand between Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly. While the opener stood unbeaten with 83 off just 47 deliveries, Denly contributed with a brilliant 75 off 38 to steer the team to victory.
The bowlers haven't been doing really well with Fabian Cowdrey, Coles, Griffiths and Claydon failing to take regular wickets; they should be cautious against Somerset batsmen like Allenby and Trego, who had punched sixes and fours at will the last time around. James Tredwell and Kagiso Rabada have joined the squad and they could play a vital role with spin and pace respectively; the others proved to be too expensive against Essex in the last game, leading to a massive target of 205, which proved to be too formidable for the batsmen to chase.
The batting line-up has Tom Latham, Sam Billings, Denly, Sam Northeast, Alex Blake and Darren Stevens, who must come out all guns blazing here to outwit the Somerset batsmen yet again.
Kent has won against Somerset before and this could provide some psychological advantage to them but we feel that Somerset with a resurgent batting line-up and in-form bowling squad looks better placed to win this round