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Kent Spitfires coach Matt Walker says his side could have a special NatWest T20 Blast campaign

By Alex Hoad

Kent head coach Matt Walker says his star-studded Spitfires side are capable of ‘special things’ in the NatWest T20 Blast this season.

Kent beat rivals Essex Eagles by seven wickets at Beckenham on Sunday and will seek to build on the opening win when they take on Gloucestershire at Cheltenham at 2.30pm on Thursday.

They then face a trip to a sold-out Oval to face Surrey at 6.30pm on Friday.

Matt Walker. Picture: Andy Jones

Walker said: “It’s a great time of year, everyone gets excited for it, players and fans. There is the anticipation of playing in front of big crowds and the buzz.

“Fast cricket is what it’s about nowadays. The boys are excited.

“Playing Gloucestershire at a small out-ground and then going to a packed-out Oval are different challenges.”

He added: “There’s no such thing as a perfect game but Sunday was not a million miles away from it.

“We outplayed them in all three aspects of the game. Everything went to plan. If we can get off to a bit of a flier in this competition, with the side we’ve got then I’m expecting some pretty good things.

“If you can get a couple of wins early then that momentum is important. You don’t want to find yourselves playing catch-up like we did last year.

“T20 is a format that suits us – if we gel. It’s exciting. The side on paper is exciting but there are also some other exciting sides in the group and on any day a single player can have a day and win the match.

“A side on paper only gets you so far, it’s what you do when you cross that white line that counts.

“I am positive, as all the lads are, that if we can play to our full potential, I’m sure we could do something pretty special this year.”

The well-drilled Spitfires benefited from an eight-hour training session at the County Ground on Saturday, with all fit senior players involved in training rather than being allowed to play club cricket in the Kent League.

Walker said: “We only had one day to really rack a few ideas around and get our points across to the players leading into Sunday.”

Mitch Claydon (side strain) will miss both games but could come into contention for the opening game at Canterbury against Gloucestershire on Tuesday (7pm) when the first 4,000 fans through the gates will receive a pair of Spitfires sunglasses.

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