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Kent coach Matt Walker eyeing return to winning ways at Leicestershire in Specsavers County Championship Division 2

By Alex Hoad

Matt Walker says Kent need to draw a line under their ill-fated one-day campaign and get back on the promotion trail when the championship season resumes at Leicester on Friday.

The Spitfires were already assured of finishing bottom of the South Group before their Royal London One-Day Cup programme finished with yesterday (Wednesday’s) home clash with Essex.

Kent lost six of their opening seven games, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory more than once, and in the wake of last week’s 11-run loss at Gloucestershire, Walker said the players ‘need to take a look at themselves in the mirror.’

Matt Walker
Matt Walker

He said: “They need to take responsibility for their own games because there are clearly areas we need to improve on.

“If we think we are good enough to just turn up and chase down 275 without making the big moments count, we are in for a shock and that’s what happened.

“It has been a disappointing campaign with the same mistakes being made. We need to ensure we are a lot better when the T20 competition comes around.”

Walker added: “We’ve only got ourselves to blame. It’s been a funny competition, in all those games we’ve lost, we’ve been in them. We just haven’t been good enough in key areas or put a complete package together at any stage and we’ve come unstuck.

“We just haven’t been good enough. We had good prep of eight games in Antigua, we can’t use that as an excuse.

“We’ve batted brilliantly at times but the bowling hasn’t matched up. We’ve bowled better and got ourselves in games but then let ourselves down with the bat.

“It’s been frustrating because along the way there has been some breathtaking cricket played. There have been moments but moments don’t win you games.” After their early exit from the One-Day Cup, Kent now have six championship games in succession, starting with Friday’s game at Leicestershire (11am) before the NatWest T20 Blast begins on July 9.

Walker said he doesn’t plan to tinker with a red-ball team that have won their opening three matches, although he has lost Wayne Parnell and Mitch Claydon remains absent on compassionate leave, while Kent have not yet agreed terms with an overseas bowler.

Walker said: “We’ve played good cricket in the four day game so far. When you’ve won three games it’s dangerous to start chopping and changing too much.

“The guys are in a pretty good place, pretty happy with their form, which makes it more frustrating we haven’t managed to take that into the middle in 50-over cricket.

“We’ll draw a line under it now. We have got plenty in the bank from our experience in the first month of the season to make sure we are a good side in this competition. Hopefully, we can bounce back quickly at Leicester.”

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