Blake: Kent have everything to play for in Vitality Blast
PUBLISHED: 11:45 16 August 2018
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Spitfires tackle South Group leaders Somerset on Thursday
Alex Blake says Kent have all to play for when they take on leaders Somerset in Thursday evening’s Vitality Blast South Group clash in Canterbury.
Fresh from scoring a classy, match-winning 57 off 23 balls in Sunday’s nervy three-wicket win over Middlesex in Beckenham, Blake says that Kent have nothing to fear when taking on the runaway group leaders.
Delighted by his first short-form 50 of the summer Blake, who clattered three fours and five sixes on his hometown ground, said: “It’s been a bit of a frustrating campaign for me because I don’t feel like I’ve batted that much in our first 12 T20 games.
“I’ve felt a little bit on edge and a little undercooked if I’m honest, so I’ve been playing some club cricket just to get some time out in the middle.
“I scored a 60-odd for Beckenham on Saturday, and took three-for bowling off-spinners, which put me in a good frame of mind going into the Middlesex game.
“Thankfully, I’ve played a part and have helped the team to win a fairly vital game.”
Should they beat Somerset in front of the Sky Sports cameras, Spitfires then face another tense local derby on Friday when they travel to Chelmsford to take on Essex, who are out of contention for this year’s knockout stages.
“They’re an important couple of games coming up in terms of qualification,” added Blake.
“It was vital that we beat Middlesex. It didn’t matter how we got there, it just mattered that we got over the win line and I was happy to have played my part,” said the belligerent left-hander.
“Somerset have been flying and everytime I look at the South Group results they seem to have won again, but we have played very good white ball cricket against them over the past few years and hopefully that will stand us in good stead, because they will be worried about playing us at Canterbury.
“We’re confident going into any game because everyone in the side knows their role and people are prepared to put their hands up when it’s required of them.
“I’m sure Somerset will be aware of our win record over them, but it’s strange how that can work out. We are a monkey on their backs for sure, but you have to admit that Gloucestershire are something of a one-day bogey side for us.
“It’s really all about who plays the best cricket come Thursday night. Whoever does, then they will come out on top.”
Kent will give a late fitness test to Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who has missed the last couple of games with a hamstring niggle. Skipper Sam Billings will be hopeful too that death-bowling specialist, Mitch Claydon, suffered no adverse effects after his comeback from a similar problem on Sunday.