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Sam Billings vows to keep performing and prove he deserves to be Kent Cricket's No.1 wicketkeeper

By Alex Hoad

Sam Billings says he feels he is continuing to improve as a wicketkeeper after being handed the role of Kent’s first-choice gloveman in all forms this season.

Sam Billings stumps Essex's Tom Westley at Canterbury on Wednesday night. Pic: Barry Goodwin
Sam Billings stumps Essex's Tom Westley at Canterbury on Wednesday night. Pic: Barry Goodwin

The 22-year-old produced an accomplished display as the Spitfires suffered their second defeat of the NatWest T20 Blast South Group campaign at home to Essex on Wednesday.

The highlight was the superb legside stumping of Tom Westley (pictured above) off the bowling of Darren Stevens, while another rapid 26 with the bat steered the Spitfires to a total of 189 and made it 57 runs in his last two T20 cameos.

Billings admitted: “I definitely feel I’m getting better. It’s the experience, but for me it’s more relaxing when I’m keeping. If I relax and let my keeping do the talking. I know I can do it, it’s more proving to people that haven’t seen me keep or don’t think I can.”

Billings was preferred to former England man Geraint Jones, currently on loan at Gloucestershire, by Rob Key and Jimmy Adams this term and said he wants to repay their confidence.

He added: “Without a doubt I feel more comfortable. It’s finding your feet, with the bat as well as the gloves. It’s having the backing of the captain and coach, saying ‘you are the No.1 man, go out and play,’ rather than worrying about the next game and whether you’re going to play or not.”

Billings said Kent were determined to bounce back from their defeat against Essex when they face Glamorgan in Cardiff on Friday

He said: “This is a ridiculously strong group – every team has talent. Somerset are struggling but have been one of the best sides in the country the past few years. Every team have got really strong sides.”

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