Clay­don’s strong fin­ish

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - -

Mitch Clay­don says the Spit­fires can take huge be­lief from their su­perb win at Hamp­shire Royals to help them fin­ish the sea­son strongly in all forms of the game. The 30-year-old has qui­etly es­tab­lished him­self as Kent’s ‘death’ bowler in the short­est for­mat this sea­son af­ter join­ing on-loan from Durham where he is out of favour. The Aus­tralian-born pace­man col­lected five wick­ets in the t20 warm-up game with New Zealand and in the six games since the start of the friends Life t20 South Di­vi­sion cam­paign, has col­lected an im­pres­sive 7-158. He was handed the ball for two of the fi­nal three overs as Kent recorded their first win against de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Hamp­shire on Sun­day to end the Royals’ 17-game un­beaten streak. Clay­don claimed 2-24 – tak­ing the cru­cial scalps of Sean Ervine and Neil McKen­zie and pro­duced two tight overs to keep Hamp­shire eight runs short, with the hosts hav­ing needed 20 runs from the fi­nal 18 balls. Clay­don said: “It was a good win and we en­joyed it. We can take a lot of be­lief from that game, to go in against a side that’s been beat­ing ev­ery side they come up against for the last year.” He added: “They needed 55 off five overs but they had a cou­ple of big overs and needed 20 off three and still had Neil McKen­zie there, one of the best fin­ish­ers in Eng­land. “I man­aged to bowl a good over and get a wicket and then Ver­non Phi­lan­der bowled a good one, mean­ing with the last they needed 13 and I’d have had to mess it up pretty badly from there.” Hav­ing lost their first five games in the com­pe­ti­tion, Clay­don claimed: “The last four games are im­por­tant. The dif­fer­ence be­tween 1-9 and 5-5 is huge, not just for this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion but for the fu­ture of the team, too. We’ve got a lot of young play­ers and they will all be bet­ter play­ers for th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences. “The big­gest prob­lem is that we’ve not scored as many runs as we’d have liked, we’ve dropped a few catches along the way and the bowl­ing hasn’t al­ways been on it but we showed great char­ac­ter and fight to get the win on Sun­day.” Clay­don’s deal is due to run-out af­ter the t20 game against Sus­sex at Hove on Wed­nes­day but he said: “I’m not go­ing to get the op­por­tu­nity to play if I go back to Durham and I would like to stay on. I’m en­joy­ing it at Kent and hope­fully some­thing can be sorted.”

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