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Kent Spitfires assistant coach Matt Walker says the performances of the club's youngsters in the Royal London One-Day Cup have exceeded expectations

Kent Spitfires’ assistant coach Matt Walker admits the performances of the county’s younger players in the Royal London One-Day Cup have exceeded all expectations.

After beating Glamorgan by six wickets at Canterbury on Wednesday, Kent went to the top of Group B, having previously beaten Durham and Somerset and tied against Surrey.

Walker admitted the Spitfires were riding on the crest of a wave at the moment but conceded they were still not yet the finished article.

He said: “There is certainly room for improvement. We are still not there.
“However, the way the young lads are going is unbelievable.

Kent Cricket's Sam Northeast Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent Cricket's Sam Northeast Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Expectations we had before the start of the season have been blown out the water by some of them like Sam (Billings).

“His development has been frightening. He was in a bit of a hole last month but we did some work with him and all of a sudden – bang.

“The innings he played against Somerset and Surrey were world class.”

Walker also praised the performance of stand-in captain Sam Northeast, who has been deputising for the injured Rob Key.

He said: “Sam has done a good job. He’s been calm under pressure and that’s not easy to do in this format.”

There are still four games to go before the knockout stages start on August 26.
Kent are in action against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Friday and Warwickshire at Rugby School on Sunday, before heading back to play Sussex at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, on Wednesday.

Walker, who scored over 15,000 runs in all formats of the game for Kent, said he hoped the remaining games wouldn’t be as close as those against Somerset and Surrey.

He said: “I’d love to think not. It’s not good for a former player who is now a coach – you can’t do anything out there (on the field).But saying that, as long as we don’t lose, I can manage.”

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