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Kent Spitfires lose to Sussex Sharks at Canterbury in Vitality T20 Blast


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Kent Spitfires suffered their first T20 Blast defeat of the summer on Saturday.

Sussex Sharks beat Kent by eight wickets at Canterbury, moving to the top of the South Group in the process, after successfully chasing 142.

Kent Spitfires coach Matt Walker is confident they will bounce back this week after first defeat Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent Spitfires coach Matt Walker is confident they will bounce back this week after first defeat Picture: Ady Kerry

Kent head coach Matt Walker insists his team won’t panic as they look to bounce back immediately when they play Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Monday.

Walker said: “We have been brilliant up until now, we weren’t very brilliant (on Saturday) and that’s frustrating from our point of view but sometimes you have to accept that, take it on the chin and give credit to the opposition, who I thought were brilliant.

“What we don’t want to happen is that we panic, that we start to do things differently to what we have done and get away from our philosophy and all of sudden we are not playing to our true potential and backing the philosophy that we agreed on at the start of this campaign.

“That’s the message, we take it on our chin, get our heads up and we move on.

“You can’t hit the panic button when you play such an exciting, positive brand of cricket and then it doesn’t come off.”

Batting first, Kent started well enough, 57-1 after their powerplay, Joe Denly (32) top scoring, but the runs dried up, managing just one boundary in their last eight overs.

In reply, all rounder Delray Rawlins - who had been responsible for taking the wickets of opener Daniel Bell-Brummond (29) and Heino Kuhn (22) - was the main man with the bat for the Sharks, hitting an unbeaten 62 as they got home inside 16 overs.

“We didn’t quite adapt and that is a big part of T20,” Walker said.

“You can’t always play in sixth gear, sometimes you have to look at what’s going on, with the bowlers that they have got and the surface that you are up against, and maybe try and find a slightly different way of doing it.

“Hopefully next time around if we get into a situation like that we will be a bit better suited. You have to keep backing the guys for the way they play, they are very skilful batters, very powerful batters. You can’t have it both ways.

“You can’t play that positive brand of cricket and then the minute it doesn’t quite come off you start to criticise or hit the panic button.

“We just probably didn’t adapt well enough, that’s the bottom line. Sometimes you have to adapt and we didn’t do that particularly well and consequently we were well short of where we needed to be. “We needed wickets in the power play, they didn’t come, and from that moment forward it was a bit of a stroll in the park for them.”

Kent now head to the Ageas Bowl on Monday and will hope to have seamer Tim Groenewald back in contention. He missed out through illness but returned a negative Covid-19 test.

Walker added: “Every side has the potential of causing you a problem. We know we need to be better and I am sure the lads will bounce back.”

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