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Kent Spitfires’ head coach Matt Walker on a few days’ worth of practice ahead of the next T20 Blast match and improving the six count - for and against the team

There is the chance for Kent Spitfires to put new plans into practice ahead of their next T20 Blast game.

Spitfires, who have started with two wins and two defeats in the South group, are not set to play until they visit Taunton to face holders Somerset on Friday, having been beaten by four wickets at home to Middlesex last time out on Sunday.

Kent Spitfires head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent Spitfires head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin

While some other counties’ schedules look busier, the one for Matt Walker’s men appears fairly kind at present, allowing for time to work on areas for improvement in the nets.

“It’s great,” Kent head coach Walker said.

“There’s two very clear areas from this game and probably the Hampshire game where we can be very specific - that’s our batting at the death and, with our bowling, making sure we hit our areas a bit better than we have done.

“It allows us to actually have meaningful practice when you’re not feeling too fatigued.

“You know the next game is a week away, so you can have a couple of days to rest and reflect, and be very specific around our training with two good days of practice.

“Then, we will travel down for our next game. We’re very lucky with how it’s worked out. It doesn’t always fall like that.

“Speaking to a few teams, I think theirs is a very different-looking schedule to ours. It feels like a good thing and I think it is a good thing.

“Obviously, players want a bit more time in between games - we all do - but sometimes, that’s not always a great thing. If you do get on a winning run, the next game can’t come quickly enough.

“But it’s actually worked out quite nicely, really, that we can get away, recover and go again.”

While the total of 173-8 which Spitfires failed to defend against Middlesex was a competitive one, their innings - unusually - didn’t include a single six.

Walker admitted: “It’s strange.

“I think they bowled very well, actually, from the top end where there was the short side for our right-handers. Sometimes, you can look at our inefficiency to do that (hit sixes) but, sometimes, you have to give credit to the opposition.

“I thought Ryan Higgins was excellent at that top end - as was Tom Helm - and Luke Hollman bowled brilliantly for four overs at this end. That made it very different for us to hit sixes.

“We, sometimes, do it in a slightly different way. We outrun sides. Our two-counts are usually outstanding and we outran Hampshire at their place brilliantly.

“But, when it’s an 8-0 count in sixes, that’s a lot of twos to run!”

Walker is also disappointed with the amount of maximums his team conceded in their home matches against Middlesex and Somerset - despite skipper Sam Billings steering them to a fine win in the latter game through an excellent century.

“We’re conceding a lot of sixes,” the coach said.

“Over the last two games here, we have conceded 18 sixes, which is a lot.

“There’s some good shots in there but that suggests we’re not hitting our areas consistently enough and that can cost you.

“No matter how well you play - when you’re conceding that many sixes - that’s quite a deficit to make-up, considering we’re not hitting anywhere near as many.”

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