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Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker looks ahead to Vitality Blast T20 game with Surrey

Matt Walker says Kent’s T20 game with Surrey gives them the perfect opportunity to bounce back after their championship debacle against Essex.

Kent were shot out in just 18.1 overs for a paltry 40 on their way to a three-wicket defeat against the Division 1 leaders at the Spitfire Ground on Tuesday.

It was their fifth lowest first-class total and came about after they had dismissed Essex for 114 to secure what had looked an invaluable 112-run lead.

Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker Picture: Ady Kerry

Head coach Walker admitted it was difficult to watch the events unfold, but he fully expects the players to bounce back for the crucial South Group game against Surrey at Canterbury on Friday (start 7pm).

Walker said: “I’ve seen this sort of thinghappen before but it was difficult to watch and to comprehend.

“The wicket did plenty all game and Cook (Essex bowler Sam who took 12 wickets in the match) was certainly the one who dragged most out of the surface.

“We did not help ourselves but once they started to get on a roll their tails were up.

“You sit there and watch it and it’s horrible, there’s nothing you can do.

“Before we batted we’d said that this was a key period of the game, we’re 100 ahead so let’s put our foot on their neck.

“Once you’re in a position of command you’ve got to make it count but those 20 overs of madness did for us.

“They bowled very well but we didn’t bat particularly well during both innings really.

“It was tough for everyone to sit there and accept, it hurts and if anything I woke up on Wednesday feeling even worse, it’s just the realisation of what has just happened.”

Walker said there were some positives, notably Kent’s bowling and the way the fought until the end – and he says it’s good they have a big T20 game to look forward.

Kent's Zak Crawley is bowled by Mohammad Amir in the first innings against Essex at Canterbury Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley is bowled by Mohammad Amir in the first innings against Essex at Canterbury Picture: Ady Kerry

Although still second, Kent are looking to rediscover their Blast form after picking up just one win from their last six matches – two of which were washed out.

Walker said: “I think in some ways just being able to clear their heads and then go back into T20 is not a bad thing.

“It’s a different format and there’s huge motivation for us to put it right.

“The good thing is that our destiny is in our own hands.

“We’ve got three (group) games left and we want to to gain some momentum so that we’re ready to peak for the knock-out stages.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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