Walker: We must

QUAR­TER-FI­NAL PER­FOR­MANCE MUST IM­PROVE ON UN­AC­CEPT­ABLE DE­FEAT

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport - By Richard Harvey

Matt Walker was an hon­est crick­eter in his play­ing days and he’s not about to change now he’s as­sis­tant coach at Kent.

Jimmy Adams’ right-hand man tells it as it is and he wasn’t about to mince his words ahead of Fri­day’s Royal Lon­don One-Day Cup quar­ter-fi­nal against Glouces­ter­shire at Can­ter­bury.

The seven-wicket de­feat against an al­ready out-of­con­tention Mid­dle­sex in the fi­nal group game last Wed­nes­day at the same venue was not ac­cept­able as far as he and Adams were con­cerned.

Walker said: “It was by far the worst per­for­mance of the com­pe­ti­tion and by a long way.

“It may have been a dead rub­ber as we had al­ready qual­i­fied for the quar­ter-fi­nals but there was no ex­cuse for a per­for­mance like that.

“We made poor de­ci­sions with the bat and get­ting dis­missed in the 44th over of a 50-over game was crim­i­nal.

“We were then sloppy in the field and over­all, our gen­eral play was not up to the stan­dard it should have been.

“It needed ad­dress­ing and it was. The play­ers clearly now know what is ex­pected of them.”

Glouces­ter­shire, who also lost their fi­nal group game by 53 runs against Der­byshire, will be with­out their cap­tain, Aus­tralian Michael Klinger, for the sea­son.

The pro­lific open­ing bats­man broke his arm af­ter be­ing hit by pace­man Mark Footitt.

Walker said his ab­sence would leave a huge hole to fill.

He said: “It’s sad for him to miss out but good for us be­cause we all know how good he is.

“But say­ing that, they (Glouces­ter­shire) will still pro­vide a huge test for us be­cause they are sim­i­lar to us as a team.

“They are a side with­out su­per­stars but are in­stead filled with good pro­fes­sion­als who know the game well and work well to­gether. They will be hard to break down.

“They have the abil­ity to threaten us from any­where with both bat and ball.

“We know we have to be switched on from the first ball un­til the last to get the re­sult we want – and we will be.” Kent will be with­out their lead­ing wicket-taker in the com­pe­ti­tion, Aussie pace­man Doug Bollinger, who took 15 wick­ets be­fore head­ing home at the week­end.

Spin­ner James Tred­well, who is third on the wick­et­tak­ing list with eight, will also be on Eng­land duty. The game starts at 2pm at The Spit­fire Ground, St Lawrence. Kent are back in LV= County Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion 2 ac­tion on Sun­day when they host Glam­or­gan as they look to re­turn to win­ning ways af­ter los­ing to Hamp­shire last time out in the com­pe­ti­tion.

writes Richard Harvey. The left-armer came to play plenty of cricket and have fun while do­ing it – he says he got what he wanted. Not that los­ing his fi­nal game, the seven-wicket de­feat against

Pic­tures: Barry Good­win

Sam Billings, in ac­tion against Mid­dle­sex last Wed­nes­day, will be a key player for Kent in Fri­day’s quar­ter-fi­nal against Glouces­ter­shire and, left, as­sis­tant coach Matt Walker

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

Doug Bollinger cel­e­brates the wicket of Mid­dle­sex’s Chris Rogers

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