T20: Kent Spitfires face Taunton test against Somerset

PUBLISHED: 15:04 08 August 2019

Kent assistant head coach Allan Donald (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Kent assistant head coach Allan Donald (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Kent’s Vitality Blast T20 bounce-back-ability will be tested for the second time in a week on Saturday when they travel to Taunton to take on Somerset in their ninth South Group qualifying game.

Having lost Wednesday night's clash against Gloucestershire by five wickets in Bristol - their second reverse in three starts - Spitfires travel further west at the weekend in the hope of completing the season's double and extend their Twenty20 winning streak over Somerset to 13 successive matches.

And assistant coach Allan Donald, the former South Africa pace bowler, is confident that Daniel Bell-Drummond's injury-hit side will again show their good character.

"We go to Taunton on Saturday and it's been a good ground for us, so touch wood," said Donald. "Our bounce-back-ability in the tournament has been phenomenal so far.

"We had a proper smashing by Sussex before beating Hampshire and against Gloucestershire we were not good enough. But we are still right up there and hopefully we can rectify things against Somerset.

"In the Vitality Blast the toughest thing is to create momentum and we have done that very well so far. We can feel very proud of our performances.

"They have been all-round team efforts, with some brilliant individual displays. There is nothing to panic about.

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"We have a couple of days to rest up before facing Somerset and that is important because the tournament is reaching a stage where guys are starting to feel a few niggles and a bit of tiredness."

Indeed, Kent are already without all-rounder Grant Stewart (hamstring) and have injury concerns surrounding two other key bowlers.

Donald added: "On Saturday we will try to hit Somerset hard. Our slow left-armer Imran Qayyum still has a pretty sore finger and might be fit to go in five days or so because his was a very bad dislocation, while Matt Milnes has had a scan and an injection, so may also need a couple of days rest.

"It's exciting that Sam Billings is almost ready to play. He has been hitting and catching balls well and it will be great to have him back after his shoulder dislocation, not least for his leadership and his presence in the group.

"He is awesome in the dressing room. His inputs are solid and to have him back playing will be an extreme bonus. Whether he will face Somerset or not I don't know.

"Our record against Somerset is a weird phenomenon. It's a hell of a stat and we can grab confidence from them knowing they are up against a side who have some sort of hold over them.

"But at the end of the day we have to perform on Saturday. It's how we impose ourselves and how we own that piece of real estate.

"We have to execute our skills well to keep the run against Somerset going."

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