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Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker praises skipper Sam Northeast's knock against Somerset Sabres

Head coach Matt Walker said he was not the least bit surprised to see skipper Sam Northeast lead from the front in Thursday's NatWest T20 Blast win over Somerset at Canterbury.

Northeast's brilliant unbeaten 54 turned what looked like being a potentially awkward chase into a seven-wicket win with nine balls to spare and Walker said he felt the knock had been coming.

He said: "I had a good feeling about Sam tonight, he's worked really hard in the last week or two.

Sam Northeast Picture: Andy Jones
Sam Northeast Picture: Andy Jones

"It hasn't quite happened for him, he's shown some nice signs in a couple of games but today he was back to his very best.

"There was lots of clean hitting, he was in control and dominated really from the moment he went out to bat.

"He showed good intent so yes I'm really pleased with him but actually we're getting that confidence now in all the middle order.

"I know today we had a good foundation so we weren't under a huge amount of pressure, but Alex Blake's 20, and Sam Billings (14 not out) coming in at the end and doing what he does with good energy it will give us a lot of confidence going forward."

One disappointment for the Spitfires on the night was a recurrence of Adam Milne's thigh injury which forced him out of the contest after he had bowled just two overs for 34 runs.

Walker explained: "It's the same problem and yes it's frustrating both for us and Adam.

"He worked really hard to get back for today and everything was in place, he was ready to go and unfortunately it hasn't held up.

"I don't know the full extent of it but he'll have an assessment with the physio and we'll be a bit clearer on the situation.

"I'm really upset for him because I know how disappointed he is. We'll just have to wait and see."

Thursday's win lifted Kent up to fifth spot in the South Group ahead of the home game against leaders Glamorgan at the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence on Sunday (3pm).

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