Walker backed skip­per to shine

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Head coach Matt Walker said he was not the least bit sur­prised to see skip­per Sam North­east lead from the front in Thurs­day’s NatWest T20 Blast win over Som­er­set at Can­ter­bury. North­east’s un­beaten 54 turned what looked like be­ing a po­ten­tially awk­ward chase into a sev­en­wicket win with nine balls to spare and Walker said he felt the knock had been com­ing. He said: “I had a good feel­ing about Sam tonight, he’s worked hard in the last week or two. “It hasn’t quite hap­pened for him, he’s shown some nice signs in a cou­ple of games but to­day he was back to his best. “There was lots of clean hit­ting, he was in con­trol and dom­i­nated from the mo­ment he went out to bat. “He showed good in­tent, so yes I’m pleased with him but we’re get­ting that con­fi­dence now in all the mid­dle or­der. “I know to­day we had a good foun­da­tion so we weren’t un­der a huge amount of pres­sure but Alex Blake’s 20 and Sam Billings (14 not out) – com­ing in at the end and do­ing what he does with good en­ergy – it will give us a lot of con­fi­dence go­ing for­ward.” Kent’s re­ply started with Joe Denly (46) and Daniel Bel­lDrum­mond (39) at­tack­ing dur­ing the pow­er­play be­fore a rain­stop­page saw the tar­get re­duced from 198 to 181 from 18 overs. One dis­ap­point­ment for the Spit­fires on the night was a re­cur­rence of Adam Milne’s thigh in­jury which forced him out of the con­test af­ter he had bowled just two overs for 34 runs. Walker esaid: “It’s the same prob­lem and it’s frus­trat­ing both for us and Adam. He worked hard to get back for to­day and ev­ery­thing was in place. He was ready to go and un­for­tu­nately it hasn’t held up. “I don’t know the full ex­tent of it but he’ll have an as­sess­ment with the physio and we’ll be a bit clearer on the sit­u­a­tion.” “I’m up­set for him be­cause I know how dis­ap­pointed he is. We’ll just have to wait and see.” KENT’S NEXT FIVE GAMES Aug 4 Sus­sex (Can­ter­bury)..........T20 Aug 6 West Indies (Can­ter­bury)....TM Aug 11 Hamp­shire (Can­ter­bury) ...T20

Pic­ture: Andy Jones

Sam North­east hits out against Glam­or­gan on Sun­day

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