About the Match
Both Surrey and Kent come into this match on the back of a loss and would want to turn things around quickly before the tournament starts to slip away. The close nature of the matches so far has proven that anything can happen in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast and no team can be counted out.
No other team has the financial resources that Surrey has at its disposal and this means that a litany of stars will turn out for its T20 team. Jason Roy, Aaron Finch, Kumar Sangakkara, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Ravi Rampaul and the soon to return Kevin Pietersen al make this Surrey team a formidable unit.
Assembling together some of the biggest names in T20 cricket though does not often make for a winning side and this is something that Surrey will be trying to rectify.
In their last match against Middlesex, Surrey got off to an absolute flyer thanks mainly to Sangakkara but finished poorly to only manage 158 from their 20 overs. From being 94 for 3 in ten overs to 116 for 6 in 14.1, Surrey missed a golden opportunity to put up a total of close to 200.
Roy, who missed the last match may still be absent for this one due to the short turnaround time but Surrey should still back themselves to have enough in their reserves even without him.
Aaron Finch has not fired up until now but he has looked good and we think a big inning from him is just around the corner. Tom Curran has been the standout bowler for Surrey being able to bowl at the death with precision or up front with genuine pace.
Support from Ravi Rampaul and the experienced Gareth Batty has been good as well. Surrey just needs to fine tune a few things before they really start dominating this competition.
Kent came up short against a clinical Gloucestershire in the last match and they are going to have be at their best to beat a star-studded Surrey lineup. A continuous loss of wickets in the last match meant that Kent was unable to ever really get the scoreboard moving.
We also think that Sam Billings is batting too low down in the order to be able to make the most impact. In Bell-Drummond, Kent has an in-form opening batsman but Denly, Northeast and Jimmy Neesham need to provide much more with the bat on a consistent basis if Kent is to move beyond the group stages.
Of course, the team and its supporters knew that this is a team where the bowling is the slightly stronger suit of the two skills and this has been proven by the performances so far.
Adam Milne has been quick and taken wickets regularly while Matt Coles and Jimmy Neesham have been very economical. James Tredwell has also picked up regular wickets to make sure that the opposition does not take them lightly at any stage.
In a T20 match though, Kent will want to ensure their bowling lineup has enough runs to bowl at otherwise there is nothing much that they can do. We think Kent becomes a much greater threat if they bowl first and then chase it down later.
Pitch and Conditions
The forecast is for a cloudy day at the Oval which means that the first couple of overs could offer some swing to the bowlers but the pitch is generally flat and excellent for batting. There is no rain forecast for the match as of now.
We are backing the upset in this one. Kent to win.