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Kent Cricket batsman Ben Harmison reveals confidence is high as club seek LV= County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup glory

By Alex Hoad

Bullish Ben Harmison says Kent are on the threshold of glory – it’s just up to the confident players to take the final steps in a potentially historic month for the club.

The 28-year-old has been in good form during Kent’s fine run of form, with just one defeat in the last 12 matches in all competitions, and has impressed with the bat and ball, having talked up his bowling ambitions since his arrival from Durham nearly three years ago.

Harmison revealed: “It’s been brilliant. We’ve got that winning mentality at the minute where we seem to find ways of winning, even when the chips are down. That’s what happens when you win a few games, something clicks for you and you get over the line.”

Harmison said back-to-back LV= County Championship Division 2 wins in June and July ‘definitely’ sparked the momentum which has taken Kent top of the Royal London One-Day Cup group and within 23 points of the promotion places in four-day cricket, with two games in hand.

He said: “We were talking about that winning habit, getting on a roll so when you’re half-way through a game and it’s 50-50 we’ve got that confidence now to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, get the runs we need or bowl tight with the ball and get over the line.

“It’s all down to confidence, in each other, in the team, and individually.

“Everyone’s looking at the tables, they know where we are. We have games in hand (in the Championship) and hopefully one more win in the Royal London will give us a home quarter-final which is what we want.

“We’ll take it game by game, but with this form and this confidence you’ve got to cash in, because you know how quick it comes and can go.”

He added: “We have got to keep pushing each other because this squad can go as far as it wants, with the talent level we’ve got.

“We know we have five games left, we have points and hopefully promotion to play for, we can’t wait to get stuck into the Hampshire game on Friday.

Ben Harmison. Picture: Chris Davey
Ben Harmison. Picture: Chris Davey

“The last couple of months we’ve been beating Division 1 teams, Surrey, Somerset – hard teams to beat. Other teams could be looking at us thinking ‘we don’t want to play Kent.’

“Long may it continue. September could be an exciting month for Kent, there is a lot to look forward to. Hopefully we can keep performing, keep the run going and hopefully going into the last month of the season we’ll be going for promotion and a Lord’s final, so it’s all to play for.”

Harmison did not bowl a single over of limited overs cricket in 2013, taking 1-161 in 37 overs of Championship bowling, however he has taken a wicket every one of the five times he has been thrown the ball in limited-overs cricket in the past six weeks.

He said: “It’s been nice. The last couple of years I’ve not bowled that much, I’ve been trying to get my body back to where it was fitness-wise.

“I’ve been bowling more and more, I said since I’ve signed I’d push my way in as a bowler and hopefully a few wickets back it up in the limited chance I have had.

“I’ve been turning up to games not really knowing what my role will be, but I’m happy to do anything really, I feel like I’m at the top of my game at the minute, contributing with bat and ball.

“I’m feeling as good as I ever have, even better than when I was taking wickets at Durham – touch wood I can take it on next year with the club and play a bigger role as an all-rounder.”

He added: “It’s definitely as much fun as I’ve had at Kent. It helps when you’re winning. The last two months we’ve been winning and people are buzzing, lots of people are stepping up to the plate this year, the changing room has a good mix of youth and experience.”

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