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|Freddie van den Bergh||8||10||0||0||80.00|
|Freddie van den Bergh||3.0||0||29||0||9.67|
Surrey is one of the heavily favored sides in the Vitality Blast 2018. It’s loss to Middlesex in the first match will come as a jolt to the side, though, that nothing can be taken for granted. Surrey now moves to the Kia Oval for their first home game against the Kent Spitfires. The Spitfires finished 6th in the group last season and will be keen to get some points early.
Kent will know that they are facing Surrey at a time when all of its superstars are not available and so this may be the easiest time to beat them.
A disappointing start to the campaign for Surrey would have sent some jitters in their camp. Their batting looked out of form and frankly insufficient to compete against Middlesex. The bowling was better and helped them make a match of it but in the end, Surrey just did not have enough runs on the board.
Now, Surrey must gear up to face the Kent Spitfires, another side which has a dangerous batting lineup.
Burns and Jacks opened the innings in the first game and they are likely to do so again in the next match as well. The middle order of Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Rikki Clarke, and Ollie Pope is pretty good and should be able to provide Surrey consistent runs.
We are very excited to see what Foakes can do with his opportunities at the top of the order until the likes of Roy, Finch, and Maddinson return. Sam Curran was ruled out for England but still managed to play the first match. We are unsure if he is carrying a niggle or maybe was deemed superfluous to the national squad but he batted in the middle order and bowled his full quota of overs.
We would actually prefer to see Ollie Pope bat up the order because he has the ability to start fast and keep on peppering the boundaries. He seems to wasted at number seven in this weakened lineup.
The bowling performance from Surrey was much better and should give them encouragement. Sam Curran got the ball to swing, Gareth Batty was economical, Morne Morkel was very quick and even though he went for runs we are backing him to come good, and Rikki Clarke was very dependable.
Against Kent, the team will want to pull up its batting while keeping the bowling performance the same.
Rory Burns, Will Jacks, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Rikki Clarke, Jamie Smith, MW Pillans, Gareth Batty, Morne Morkel, Jade Dernbach, Freddie van den Bergh.
The Kent Spitfires will go into this tournament with a lot of hope. They have Sam Billings available for the entire season, now that he is no longer a part of the England squad, and will want Joe Denly to reprise his form from last season.
The loss of Sam Northeast is going to be massive but the team will be hoping that players like Bell-Drummond will be able to make that step up this year. Heino Kuhn was instrumental in leading the team to the Royal London Cup final and so there has been some white ball success coming Kent’s way already.
Against Surrey, we are hoping to see Billings take the lead and bat somewhere in the top-3. He has had a lot of success in T20 cricket around the world but has never really cemented his position in the squad. Even at the IPL this season, Billings got plenty of opportunities but could only play one match winning inning in the entire tournament.
Kent has added Carlos Braithwaite to its squad until Marcus Stoinis returns from his international duties and that is a good move. Braithwaite has tremendous power and clears the boundaries easily. His bowling is a liability according to us but he can be a good option for a few overs somewhere in between.
Adam Milne from New Zealand is going to be leading the bowling attack which will also feature other quality bowlers like James Tredwell, Iran Qayyum, and Darren Stevens.
Kent has a lot of the bases covered, at least on paper, and now all that remains is to convert that potential into performance.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Sean Dickson, Carlos Brathwaite, Alex Blake, Calum Haggett, Adam Milne, Imran Qayyum, Ivan Thomas.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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A clear day with no rain has been predicted for the match. The pitch at the Kia Oval is always excellent for batting. It also offers some bounce for bowlers that bend their backs. We are expecting to see a high scoring match between the two teams.
A score of 170 can be treated as par.
Surrey has won just two out of the last five matches played against Kent in this format. It has home advantage but will once again be missing a lot of its first choice players. We think that Kent has enough quality in its side to be able to win this one.
Back Kent to win.