This week presents a top-of the-table clash between current leaders, Warwickshire, and second-placed Kent who are 24 points behind the Bears. Forming part of the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Festival, the game is set to be a big attraction, in the setting of such a beautiful ground, which will provide a great spectacle for a fascinating contest.
It’s a match which has the potential to be a thriller of a game between two very strong sides who both have key players in form, and looking to continue their push for promotion.
Warwickshire will be going into this game with confidence, with a run of four wins behind them and a team which includes a mixture of senior players and young, fresh talent, all of whom are putting in solid performances and getting their team the wins they need in their search for silverware. They will see this game as a chance to extend their lead at the top, taking it further away from Kent in 2nd place.
Similarly, Kent will be a team brimming with confidence with their most recent game being an incredible win against Worcestershire in the semi-final of the RLODC, cementing their place in the Lord’s final at the end of this month. This squad will be hoping to put in another match winning performance of the back of that win, albeit with different colour of ball!
Kent’s bowling has been very strong throughout the season so far, however, runs seem to be something that’s harder to come by, with them only picking up five batting points compared to Warwickshire’s 13. Putting scores on the board could be the difference between the two teams.
For Warwickshire, Ian Bell is always crucial to their batting line up. With his plentiful experience, and vast number of runs for Warwickshire, he is a senior player that always seems to step up. He is in very good form as well, in the previous game against Glamorgan he saw Warwickshire over the line in their chase by scoring a century to add his century made in the first innings as well. He will be looking to continue this good form and show his class, with plenty of dreamy cover drives.
In the Kent squad, Heino Kuhn will be on cloud nine after scoring a century in the game against Worcestershire to contribute heavily to Kent’s win. Ideally he will carry this form forward to the County Championship with the red ball and replicate those runs. This would aid’s Kent’s current deficits in scoring runs and help to build up batting points which could prove vital in the closing games of the season when it comes to promotion to Division One.
Kent have left a few players out of the squad due to niggles, as Mitch Claydon, James Tredwell and Callum Haggett all miss out. Sam Billings is on England duty so Adam Rouse keeps wicket.
Kent Squad: Joe Denly (c), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Sean Dickson, Matt Henry, Heino Kuhn, Harry Podmore, Adam Riley, Adam Rouse (wk), Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart, Ivan Thomas
Olly Stone is unfortunately out of the squad, as he is suffering with a side-strain. Sam Hain is also absent as he leaves to join up with England Lions squad.
Warwickshire Squad: Jeetan Patel (c), Tim Ambrose (wk), Keith Barker, Ian Bell, Henry Brookes, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Adam Hose, Matthew Lamb, Josh Poysden, Will Rhodes, Dom Sibley, Ryan Sidebottom, Jonathan Trott, Chris Wright
Warwickshire – WWWWD
Kent – DWWWL
Weather & Conditions
Forecast shows it to be sunny across the four days, with some overcast periods likely as well, and thankfully no rain, but pack the umbrella anyway, it’s England remember! The pitch is known as a great place for batting, with lots of runs usually scored, so could result in a high scoring game.
Date: 20th – 23rd June 2018
Ground: The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Odds(SkyBet): Warwickshire 4/5, Kent 1/1