Billings fo­cused on own game

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - -

Sam Billings says he hasn’t got time to en­joy be­ing handed the gloves for Kent Spit­fires’ t20 cam­paign as he knows Geraint Jones will be ‘rar­ing’ to get his place back.

Billings was named as wick­et­keeper for Fri­day’s opener in the Friends Life t20 South Di­vi­sion against Mid­dle­sex af­ter skip­per James Tred­well said Kent needed to put their faith in the fu­ture, with Jones, who turns 37 this month, left out.

The 22-year-old al­lowed 13 byes on his de­but, mainly while stand­ing up to medium-pace but bat­tled back with a more as­sured per­for­mance against Sur­rey on Sun­day.

He said: “Ob­vi­ously it’s your first game, so you want to do well and in tricky con­di­tions, you’re go­ing to feel (the pres­sure) a bit.

“The older lads helped me out and I came back in the sec­ond game and did well. I am learn­ing from ev­ery game. I found it hard work the other night with the ball zip­ping around. It was dis­ap­point­ing, per­son­ally, for my first game with the gloves but I worked hard and thought I did well on Sun­day.

“It’s just a mat­ter of get­ting used to it, not putting too much pres­sure on my­self and stick­ing to the basics.

“This is some­thing I’ve been work­ing to­wards but there’s no time to dwell on it. I just have to get the job done and get on with it. There’s no time to smile, just keep get­ting the job done.

“Geraint is bril­liant, a top bloke. Noth­ing’s dif­fer­ent, it’s just one of those things. I have to get the job done oth­er­wise he’ll be there rar­ing to get the job done.”

Billings in­sisted he be­lieved Kent could turn around their for­tunes af­ter back-to-back losses to start the cam­paign. He added: “We’re not far away. Against Mid­dle­sex we played 95% of the cricket and we were to blame our­selves (for los­ing). Okay, Sur­rey more or less out­played us on Sun­day but we’re not far away.

“We’ll work on a few things this week and nail it hope­fully against Es­sex on Fri­day.

“We’re in the strong­est group with­out a doubt, ev­ery side can progress. We have a hell of a lot of good play­ers and if we can put it to­gether, we’ll be a force to con­tend with. Hope­fully, we can get a win on Fri­day.”

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