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T20 Blast: Kent head coach Matt Walker discusses outstanding Spitfires bowling unit

ByCameron Hogwood

Head coach Matt Walker has applauded the unwavering excellence of Kent’s bowling attack as a leading factor behind their four-game winning streak in the T20 Blast.

Hardus Viljoen currently leads the way with eight wickets, followed by six for spinner Imran Qayyum and four for New Zealander Adam Milne.

Mohammad Nabi and Fred Klaassen have also taken three apiece to contribute to a dominant effort with the ball.

Adam Milne during Kent's T20 win over Somerset. Picture: Ady Kerry
Adam Milne during Kent's T20 win over Somerset. Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker said: “We’ve got match-winners throughout this team and I think our bowling attack has been extremely consistent.

“I think we’ve shown in all the games we’ve played that our bowling unit will stand up against most teams.

“It helps when you’ve got pace, that’s why we brought Adam Milne back for a third year, we feel like he’s the best around in T20 at what he does.

“And Hardus (Viljoen) with his pace, nobody likes facing that. It’s very difficult to take pace of 90mph plus off a length or try and play funky shots.

“Fred Klaassen as well has stood up in his first year with us, he’s settled in nicely. He’ll go under the radar a little bit because of the Milne, Nabi and Viljoen factor but he’s doing great work, too. He’s learning all the time.

“He’s coming across some challenging situations and he won’t always get it right necessarily but so far so good and he’ll be loving this experience.

“Imran (Qayyum) as well, who has stepped up from last year and bowled beautifully.

“There are people in the wings as well, Matt Milnes, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett, Mitch Claydon. We’ve got a squad of some real quality on the bowling front but it’s a long competition.”

Hardus Viljoen celebrates a wicket for Kent against Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry
Hardus Viljoen celebrates a wicket for Kent against Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker also teased that the best is yet to come from Kent with the bat after several decisive individual performances.

He added: “With the batting I don’t think we’ve really clicked yet. I know Surrey was different and Nabi played an absolute blinder but we haven’t really clicked.

“Hampshire was a tricky wicket that probably didn’t bring the best out of the batters, we looked okay against Somerset from a precarious position early on and then against Essex we started to find some form up top with (Daniel) Bell-Drummond and (Zak) Crawley.

“I think what’s happening is people are starting to stand up with match-winning innings, we speak about that in the dressing room.

“In that first game (against Somerset) (Ollie) Robinson played a blinder and then the bowling attack did the business, in the second game (against Hampshire) Blakey (Alex Blake) pulled a rabbit out the hat with a genius innings, and against Essex it was a real team performance and Heino (Kuhn) probably got the honours with the bat.

“We've got off to a good start but things can change if you aren't careful and we've got to stay humble, keep our feet on the ground and move onto the next one and do the exact same thing we've been doing at the start of the competition.”

Read more: All the latest Kent sport news

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