The south-group games of the Vitality T20 Blast 2023 will commence on Wednesday (May 24) with Kent squaring off against Gloucestershire. This match will take place at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.
Kent had a horrible season last year as they finished at the bottom of the south-group points table with six points, winning just three of their 14 games.
Australia’s white-ball specialist Kane Richardson is all set for his Vitality Blast debut alongside George Linde as the team will be expecting both of their overseas players to step up for the team in their opening fixture.
Gloucestershire, on the other hand, had an average outing in the previous year’s edition of the tournament. They managed to secure 14 points, winning six of their 14 games.
The team will be hoping for a re-group this year after the departure of their star players, including Benny Howell, Ian Cockbain and Ryan Higgins.
Both teams will be hoping for a positive start after missing out on a place in the knockouts of the tournament last year.
However, Kent looks a more balanced side in both the departments and they will start the game as slight favourites to edge out Gloucestershire in the opening fixture.
Prediction: Kent to win this clash of Vitality T20 Blast 2023.
Sam Billings (c), Arafat Bhuiyan, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Ben Compton, Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Jack Leaning, George Linde, Fred Klaassen.
Tom Smith, Jack Taylor, Marcus Harris, Zaman Akhter, James Bracey, Ben Charlesworth, Paul van Meekeren, Miles Hammond, Ben Wells, Tom Price, Graeme van Buuren
Jack Taylor (c), James Bracey, Ben Charlesworth, Chris Dent, Zafar Gohar, Miles Hammond, David Payne, Grant Roelofsen, Tom Smith, Matt Taylor, Paul van Meekeren
Sam Billings (c), Arafat Bhuiyan, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Michael Hogan, Jack Leaning, George Linde, Tawanda Muyeye, Kane Richardson, Grant Stewart
Clear skies are expected to greet both teams in Canterbury on Wednesday with the temperatures expected to range between 7 to 19 degree celsius.
The pitch at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury provides an even contest between bat and ball. There will be some swing on offer for the seamers early on, while the pitch is expected to remain good for batting throughout the game. The average first innings score at the venue is 170-185.
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