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Marcus Stoinis set to make Kent debut in Vitality Blast clash with Sussex

Matt Walker is excited to see the world-class Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis line-up for Kent for the first time on Friday.

Stoinis is available for the Vitality Blast match with Sussex on Friday and for the rest of the tournament.

The 28-year-old replaces Carlos Brathwaite who featured in the first five matches and was joint leading wicket-taker.

He joins a Kent side who are top of the south group and aiming for finals day.

Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Keith Gillard
Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Keith Gillard

Walker said: “You feel a bit spoilt for riches in many ways. You lose Carlos and bring in a world class performer in Marcus Stoinis. We are blessed that we can replace someone of Carlos’ skill and ability with Marcus’ skill and ability.

“He will add that Aussie sense of competitiveness, which I like. He’s a feisty competitor on the field and a skilful guy.

“When we sat down during the winter we worked backwards and went for the T20 players first as they are in such demand. Marcus was number one on our hit list and we managed to get him.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him in a Kent shirt as I’m sure all the players and members are. He’s now here for the last nine games and it’s exciting.”

Carlos Brathwaite took nine wickets in the five matches he played in the T20 competition. Although he was not able to make an impact with the bat, he helped Kent to a flying start to the tournament.

Carlos Brathwaite. Picture: Keith Gillard
Carlos Brathwaite. Picture: Keith Gillard

Walker said: “I said in the dressing room just now (after the Surrey match) in front of the group - what we’ve been blessed with is bringing players in to the environment who fit the bill as a character and person. The value they add in and around the group.

“I’d never met Carlos before but he’s slipped in to this environment so smoothly. He’s a great bloke and has worked hard at his game since he’s been here.

“He’s been fun around the dressing room and has a great sense of humour and has added value to our team.”

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After the opening Vitality Blast matches, just three points separate the top seven teams.

Sussex have also enjoyed a good start to the group stages with three wins and one defeat.

Walker added: “It’s great to start like that and the first competition we’ve started well. This division is freakish, it was last year and I don’t doubt it will be the same this year.

“I doubt there will be a clear runaway leader towards the end of the campaign. I think it will be tight like it was last year. It’s nice to get a few wins early on so you aren’t chasing towards the end.

“I don’t know what it will take to progress but we would like to finish top and get a home quarter-final.

“We are sitting quite nicely at the moment and can’t complain.”

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