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Kent raring to go for day-night County Championship fixture

By Josh Fordham

Kent will go into their Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex on Monday full of confidence despite little time for rest in the last two weeks, according to Joe Denly.

In the last fortnight they have play two four day matches and two One-Day Cup games with just five days of non-playing time.

The match at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Monday is a day-night fixture with play starting at 2pm each day.

Joe Denly. Picture: Andy Payton.
Joe Denly. Picture: Andy Payton.

Denly said: “When you want to win trophies and you want to be successful you play more cricket. That’s been the case for us. We are going into that game full of confidence.

“There might be some tired bodies around but the confidence is there, the belief is there and if we play anywhere near our best we might get a result.

“They won Division 1 a couple of seasons ago and I’m sure they will be desperate to creep up the table and get a result against us.

“The pink ball will chuck up some different challenges. It’s an important days rest and we will try and get the boys rested up and firing for Monday.”

Kent have won four and drawn one of their last five Championship matches to see them within eight points of top spot.

Denly skippered his side to a 73 run victory over division leaders Warwickshire at Tunbridge Wells as they were attempting to chase down a record fourth innings total.

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He said: “We are surprising a few people this year and we will continue to do that.

“We’ve been involved in some amazing games this year. That Hampshire game was a real show of belief and I think we took quite a lot from that. Going in to today (Saturday) there had to be belief and character shown.

“Being one down wasn’t ideal on a flat wicket, with Ian Bell at the crease and strong batters to come, I knew it would take a lot of effort and a lot of commitment.

“There was that in abundance there today so I’m very proud of all the 11 blokes on the field.”

Joe Denly batting at The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Andy Payton.
Joe Denly batting at The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Andy Payton.

Denly has scored 1,020 runs in all first-class and List A matches this season, including five centuries.

In the victory over Warwickshire he scored a half-century in the first innings and a century in the second.

He also took the last three wickets in the final session of the match to seal the win.

Denly added: “It’s been a good couple of years where I’m just enjoying my cricket and I love batting at the minute.

“It was tricky batting early on in the season and it’s good conditions to bat now and I always love coming to Tunbridge Wells as it’s normally a flat wicket.

“The seamers were a little bit tired. They ran in all day and I just thought it was a good time to take a punt and they might try something different on me and it worked.”

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