North­east’s de­light soured by de­feat

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - -

Sam North­east said his high­est t20 score for Kent was “mean­ing­less” as it came in a game the Spit­fires lost but he hopes to make a match-win­ning con­tri­bu­tion against Es­sex to­mor­row (Fri­day). North­east hit two sixes and five fours in his 61 against Sur­rey on Sun­day – beat­ing his score against Mid­dle­sex last sum­mer by one – be­fore be­ing bowled by for­mer team-mate Azhar Mah­mood. The 23-year-old en­dured a dif­fi­cult start to the cam­paign but has found a rich vein of form re­cently. He ad­mit­ted: “I al­ways had faith that some runs were go­ing to come, it was a ques­tion of when. “I have put in the hard work in train­ing and hope­fully this form con­tin­ues but I want to be win­ning games of cricket for Kent. That’s the goal (so that) 60-odd is a lit­tle bit mean­ing­less. Hope­fully, we can move on to the next game and a match­win­ning knock.” North­east put on 55 for the third wicket with Dar­ren Stevens but their de­par­tures be­gan a run of seven wick­ets to fall for the ad­di­tion of just 46 runs in­side nine overs. North­east said: “We were 100-odd for two need­ing eight an over and with Stevo at the crease, you al­ways think that’s pos­si­ble. “If we’d kept that mo­men­tum go­ing, we had a good chance to win but we lost a few wick­ets, couldn’t get bound­aries away and came up 30 runs short, so we are dis­ap­pointed.” De­spite see­ing se­nior play­ers like Mark Davies and Geraint Jones left out in favour of the likes of Matt Coles and Sam Billings, North­east says the younger play­ers de­serve their place in the side. He said: “Th­ese guys have earned their place in the team with good per­for­mance for the 2nd XI. If Davo and Jonesy were play­ing, peo­ple would prob­a­bly be say­ing we need more youth in the team. You can never win in that re­gard. “This team’s ca­pa­ble of win­ning games. We should have won (on Fri­day night) but were prob­a­bly beaten by a more or­gan­ised team on Sun­day.” He added: “We are no­to­ri­ously bad starters any­way – when Kent won it in 2007 they lost the first two or three. It’s still pos­si­ble.” North­east also pointed to the im­por­tance of us­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of over­seas sign­ing Ver­non Phi­lan­der. He said: “It’s a good op­por­tu­nity for younger bowlers to come in and learn from him. He’s a class act, guys should prob­a­bly pick his brains while he’s still here.”

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

RUN­NING INTO FORM: Sam North­east, scored 61 on Sun­day

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