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Kent bowler David Griffiths says Kent should be considered a force to be reckoned with in NatWest T20 Blast

By Alex Hoad

David Griffiths hopes the Spitfires’ strong start to the T20 campaign shows they are a force to be reckoned with in the NatWest T20 Blast this year.

The former Hampshire paceman, 28, produced a breathtaking final over to help Kent see off Middlesex Panthers by 16 runs on Friday night, taking three wickets in four balls – including that of Aussie dangerman Dan Christian – to finish with career-best figures of 4-22.

A third win in four took Kent within two points of the top of South Group, with a game in hand against Essex Eagles on Wednesday night and Griffiths admitted: “It was a great win and another great team performance. It keeps the momentum going, three wins from four.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence as a group, everyone’s starting to do something, right up the batting and bowling orders. Long may it continue. The team comes first but a nice performance like a four-fer for me – you’ll always take that.”

With 18 required from the final over and all-rounder Christian well-set on an incredible 129 from 56 balls, the Panthers went into the final six balls in sight of their first win of the campaign.

David Griffiths Picture: Barry Goodwin
David Griffiths Picture: Barry Goodwin

Griffiths said: “Dan batted unbelievably well – you could be waiting a while to see another innings like that. He was hitting the ball cleanly and it was a great innings.

“Before that over, I was trying to keep the laughter going, joking, not worrying about feeling under pressure about the yorkers.

“I do all the hard work in practice so I back myself to bowl the yorkers. I said to (Sam Billings and Adam Riley) that I wanted 10-12 (to defend off the final over) and Doug Bollinger gave me 18, so I was happy with that.”

He added: “It’s possibly the best over I’ve bowled – it’s definitely in the top three considering the scenario of the game. I got the ball where I wanted to, which always helps. It was my night and I’m enjoying my cricket at the minute.”

Kent endured a dismal T20 campaign in 2013 – losing their first five games – and were one of the outsiders for glory at the start of this year’s competition.

However, Griffiths remained bullish, saying they have proven they “should be taken seriously.”

He said: “We have got a good chance. We have got a lot of youngsters coming through who have played a lot of cricket now, some experienced heads and Doug is a good overseas player who has played in the best competitions in the world.

“Everyone is feeding off each other. It’s working for us at the minute so hopefully it sends a message out to the other teams that we’re here for the long haul.”

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