Phi­lan­der im­pact not rewarded with vic­tory

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - - By Alex Hoad

Ver­non Phi­lan­der says he “couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter de­but” per­son­ally for the Spit­fires but would have cho­sen to have been on the win­ning team.

The South African over­seas star had only been in the coun­try for two days be­fore un­leash­ing a su­perb spell on his first ap­pear­ance, against Mid­dle­sex. He took 4-8 from three overs in a rain-af­fected t20 clash against the Pan­thers – a match which Kent some­how lost af­ter con­ced­ing 36 runs from the fi­nal 16 balls.

Phi­lan­der said: “It felt pretty good but would have cho­sen to be on the win­ning side. I would have taken the per­sonal per­for­mance but it was a team ef­fort and we couldn’t cross the line.”

The 28-year-old all-rounder’s front foot slipped in the wet con­di­tions on his first de­liv­ery and he ad­mit­ted: “I got a bit of a fright. It was slip­pery the first one but af­ter that, it went pretty well.

“I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter start. I’d have loved to see the team across the line but un­for­tu­nately, it didn’t hap­pen.

“We let our­selves down in the field. It’s not great not win­ning but it was a great first out­ing for me. I haven’t bowled in two-anda-half months so I’d have taken that.”

Phi­lan­der said he’d spent a week bowl­ing in­doors in Cape Town be­fore fly­ing to the UK and af­ter his spell, added: “Hope­fully it will put me in good stead for the rest of the sea­son.”

De­spite the los­ing start to the cam­paign, the world’s No.2 ranked Test bowler claimed: “There’s no time to sulk. We have got to pick our­selves up pretty quickly, brush our­selves off and move on.”

Phi­lan­der also re­vealed he was keen to pass his ex­pe­ri­ence on to the younger bowlers at the club dur­ing his month-long stay, adding: “That’s the rea­son why I got signed, to work with the younger guys.”

Pic­tures: Barry Good­win

DREAM DE­BUT: Ver­non Phi­lan­der quickly into the groove. Inset, with his fourth ball, he bowls Paul Stir­ling

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