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Kent living the Finals dream with Daniel Bell-Drummond’s superhot form.
We predict that Kent will defeat Sussex.
Tournament: VITALITY T20 BLAST 2023 | Format: T20 | Venue: St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, England | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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With only two games remaining for each team, The Vitality Blast is yet to get its final four teams. After winning 6 games in a row, Kent Spitfires will host Sussex Sharks at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury on 30th June. The match will start at 11:00 pm. Kent is currently in the fourth position with 14 points while Sussex is in seventh with 10. And there is only one buzz that is going around - How many runs Bell-Drummond is going to score this time?
Kent hosted bottom-placed Middlesex in their last game at the same venue. Batting first, Kent scored 228 runs for the loss of three wickets. Bell-Drummond scored 111 runs in 58 balls- his first century and 6th fifty-plus score of the season. Three wickets each from George Linde, Joey Evison, and Grant Stewart guided Kent to a 55-run victory over Middlesex. This was Kent’s sixth win in a row.
On the other hand, Sussex registered their second win in a row against Glamorgan. 87 runs from Shadab Khan in the middle helped Sussex to set a target of 183 runs for Glamorgan. Bradley Currie and Tymal Mills 2 wickets each restricted the home team to 162 runs to win the game by 20 runs for Sussex. With the win, Sussex kept their playoffs hope alive.
A week back, both teams played against each other at the County Ground, Hove. Skipper Ravi Bopara guided Sussex to 169 runs for seven wickets with a half-century after Micheal Hogan’s 4 wickets for 31 runs. Kent suffered some early blows after losing 3 wickets for 28 runs in four overs. Jordan Cox’s unbeaten 82 runs and partnerships of 67 runs with Drummond & 77 runs with Jack Leaning made sure Kent win the game by 6 wickets in the 19th over of the game.
What a turnaround of the tables! Kent registered their 6th win in a row after going winless in the five games before that to keep their Finals dream alive. And no other batter is more responsible for it than Daniel Bell-Drummond. Without a doubt, he will be the batter to watch out for. Drummond has scored a century and 4 half centuries in his last 6 games. He is the leading run-scorer of this season with 587 runs. And to add the cherry on top, Drummond also scored an unbeaten triple-century in the County Championship just now. Sussex will be worried about how to tackle his form. His opening partner Twanda Muyeye also has 283 runs and scored 179 runs in the same County Championship game where Drummond scored 300.
Joe Denly and Jordan Cox at numbers three and four have shown that Kent is not dependent on the success of Drummond only. Denly has 365 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 149.59 with 2 half centuries while Cox averages 52 at a strike rate of 156.62. Cox played a crucial role with the bat scoring 82 runs off 44 balls with 6 fours and five sixes against Sussex a week back to help Kent take the game with 6 wickets in hand.
Grant Stewart and Micheal Hogan will lead the Kent bowling attack. The duo has 41 wickets shared between them. Though they are giving more than 8 runs in an over, their averages are well below 20. Hogan had taken 4 wickets in the earlier game against Sussex. Besides Stewart and Hogan, George Linde will be the key bowler against Sussex.
Key Players: Daniel Bell-Drummond, Grant Stewart and Michael Hogan
Tawanda Muyeye, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Sam Billings (c & wk), Jordan Cox, Jack Leaning, George Linde, Grant Stewart, Wes Agar, Joey Evison, Michael Hogan
Sussex were riding in the same boat as Kent, but somehow they managed to stay in the competition with 4 wins in the last 6 games. But it will be difficult for Bopara’s team to qualify for the playoffs as they have just 10 points and two games in hand. Harrison Ward and Tom Clark will open for Sussex. Ward has played just 4 games this season and impressed everyone with 106 runs at a strike rate of 173.77. Clark is the second leading run scorer for Sussex with 247 runs. His average is just over 20 though and yet to score big runs.
Skipper Ravi Bopara has single-handedly led the batting attack for Sussex. He has scored 288 runs with three half-centuries. He is Sussex’s leading run scorer and has hit maximum sixes (17) for them. He can play a crucial role against Kent. All-rounder Shadab Khan will be the player to watch out for. Khan has scored 22 runs with the bat at a strike rate of 143.22 and has taken 11 wickets at an economy of 9.08 in 10 games.
T20 specialist Tymal Mills has once again proven why he is chosen across the world to play the lead in the bowling unit. The left-arm pacer has 18 wickets in 12 games at an average of 18.22. Greece pacer Aristides Karvelas took 4 wickets in the last game for just 18. It will be interesting to see how he will tackle Drummond and the company.
Key Players: Ravi Bopara, Shadab Khan, Tymal Mills.
Harrison Ward, Tom Clark, Oliver Carter, Ravi Bopara (c), Shadab Khan, Michael Burgess (wk), James Coles, George Garton, Aristides Karvelas, Henry Crocombe, Bradley Currie
The weather will be mostly cloudy. The temperature will range between 23 and 16. The wind will be flowing from the west at 15-30 kmh. The pitch at St. Lawrence Ground is generally known for offering a fair contest between bat and ball. It tends to be true and consistent, providing a good balance between pace, bounce, and spin.
As the match progresses, the pitch at St. Lawrence Ground tends to wear down and assist spinners. The bounce can become slightly uneven, making shot selection and footwork crucial for batsmen.
The 111th T20 of the Vitality Blast 2023 will be played at St. Lawrence Ground, Canterbury. The match will be played on 30th June from 11:00 pm onwards. The venue has a capacity of 15000 spectators and has hosted 3 Tests & 1 T20I. The average score at St. Lawrence Ground is low (137). A low-scoring game is expected.
In the 6 T20s of the Vitality Blast, the results have favoured teams chasing the target. The team chasing the target in the last 4 games. The team winning the toss should bowl first especially when the average score of the second innings has always been better and the ground assists batters. If the weather is overcast, they might be tempted to bowl first and take advantage of the early assistance for the seamers.
Kent is flying high with 6 wins in a row. They have beaten Sussex in the last two games including a six-wicket win this season. The way Daniel Bell-Drummond is scoring, it is almost impossible for Sussex to put pressure on Kent. Drummond has 429 runs in his last 6 T20 Innings and a triple-century in his last First class innings.
Kent’s batting, as well as a bowling unit, is superior to Sussex's. Kent have a high chance to make seven wins in a row.
We predict that Kent will defeat Sussex.
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