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Kent Spitfires all-rounder Darren Stevens in confident mood ahead of NatWest T20 Blast home opener against Gloucestershire Gladiators

By Alex Hoad

Darren Stevens says Kent Spitfires have set themselves up for a successful NatWest T20 Blast campaign and it’s up to them to prove it at Canterbury on Friday night.

The all-rounder produced a virtuoso display to help steer Kent to a statement win against Somerset in the opening game of their South Group campaign at Taunton on Friday night.

In a rain-shortened game, the 38-year-old smashed 47 from 20 balls with the bat and took 2-14 in three tight overs to help ensure a 42-run win.

Stevens said: “Momentum is massive in T20, absolutely huge. When you look back at all the years we have done well or poorly in the competition, it will be because we got off to either a good start or a poor one.

Darren Stevens Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Last week we were fortunate we got a reduced game and it freed the boys up.”

He added: “We’ve had our T20 meetings and we’ve spoken about targets in the power plays, certain grounds, certain players – all that sort of stuff – but at the end, we always finish with ‘it’s an entertainment business, T20 is all about fun and excitement. You’ve got to try and enjoy it’."

Gloucestershire Gladiators visit the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, on Friday (7pm) and Stevens said: “We are ready and raring to go at home, in front of our own crowd, against Gloucestershire. They are a decent side with a few matchwinners but after last week, you’ve got to back us. If we play like we did last Friday, it should be our game to win.”

Doug Bollinger returns to the side after being rested for the LV= County Championship, Division 2 washout against Worcester at Tunbridge Wells this week.

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