Skipper Sam Northeast says Kent’s players will relish the opportunity to take on Yorkshire’s star-studded side in the Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final.
The sides meet at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, on Thursday, August 18 (2pm), with Yorkshire’s England contingent expected to be available after the completion of the Test series with Pakistan.
The Spitfires clinched second place in the South Group with an impressive seven-wicket win over an understrength Sussex at Hove on Tuesday.
It is the third year running they have reached the last eight of the competition and Northeast admits the squad are looking forward to facing the Vikings, especially on home turf.
Northeast, who top scored with an unbeaten 66 against Sussex, said: “We’re excited by the prospect of facing Yorkshire.
“That (being involved in big matches) is what we play the game for, to play against and beat the best and we’re looking forward to a home quarter-final now.
“We’ve got some fantastic crowds down there (at Canterbury) at the moment and hopefully they can bring that atmosphere for a home quarter final.
“We like to go in as a bit of an underdog and it would be nice to get past a quarter-final after the last few years.”
Kent’s hopes of qualifying for the last eight looked perilous after their six-wicket defeat to Middlesex on July 24 – at which stage they had two wins from five games – but a run of three wins in eight days transformed their campaign.
All three victories came after Kent had batted second and Northeast said: “It’s credit to the bowlers, they’ve put us in good positions so that we’ve been chasing mediocre scores. It’s been a fantastic effort to get here and a lot of hard work.”
Northeast admitted Kent were disappointed not to have progressed beyond the T20 group stages but he feels the 50-over format suits their strengths.
He said: “We back our skills and all the batters like to get big scores in this competition. The bowlers, people like Stevo (Darren Stevens) and Will Gidman, they can can come in through the middle overs and always do a fantastic job as does Tredders (James Tredwell) who regularly goes for less than a run a ball.”
Tickets for the Yorkshire tie are now on sale at www.kentcricketshop.co.uk
The contest is all-ticket although discounts are available to members buying in advance. Kent will host either Northamptonshire or Surrey if they beat Yorkshire.
The semi-finals are scheduled for August 28 and August 29 with the final on Saturday, September 17