Meet Sussex Sharks' next Vitality Blast opponents: Kent Spitfires

Sussex Sharks celebrate taking a wicket against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup (picture by PW Sporting Photography)
Sussex Sharks celebrate taking a wicket against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup (picture by PW Sporting Photography)

As Sussex gear up to face Kent Spitfires tomorrow (10 August) we take a look at the Sharks' next opponents.

T20 Record: 2007 winners; beat Gloucestershire by four wickets.

2008 runners-up; lost to Middlesex by three runs.

Last season: Sixth in south group. P14 W6 T1 L7 13pts

Captain: Sam Billings

Overseas Players: Marcus Stoinis (Australia), Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies, opening four matches only), Adam Milne (New Zealand)

Big Hitter: The 2018 Vitality Blast may finally represent the T20 swansong of Kent’s veteran all-rounded Darren Stevens.

The 42-year-old – dubbed cricket’s answer to Benjamin Button – hit the winning runs in the county’s 2007 final win over Gloucestershire in Birmingham.

Stevens has made over 200 Twenty20 appearances around the world winning the Bangladesh Premier League for three successive years with Dhaka Gladiators.

In his 158 short-form starts for Spitfires, Stevens has amassed 3,128 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 141.92, clearing the ropes on 144 occasions.

He is one short of taking his 100th T20 wicket for Kent having already bagged four wickets in an innings on five occasions.

Key Bowler: With James Tredwell, the one-time England Test bowler turned specialist limited overs’ off-spinner sidelined with a long-term shoulder injury, Spitfires’ crucial, mid-innings overs of spin could be sent down by former Middlesex League player Imran Qayyum.

The Ealing-born left-arm spinner, 26, made his short-form debut last term in tandem with Tredwell against Gloucestershire in Cheltenham and, after out-performing his more illustrious team-mate, went on to keep his place for 10 matches of the campaign, taking seven wickets at an economy rate of 8.3.

The rookie’s best stint of 4-0-19-2 came in the return clash with Gloucestershire in Canterbury last July.

Wild Card: Heino Kuhn, Kent’s close-season Kolpak recruit, was signed to improve Spitfires' white-ball batting and replace the runs of former skipper, Sam Northeast.

The 34-year-old right-hander won four Test caps and made seven, generally disappointing T20I appearances for the Proteas before turning his back on international cricket to sign a two-year deal at Kent.

His domestic short-form record is more impressive, with 1,403 runs at a strike rate of 124.15 to his credit.

A hard-hitting and potentially destructive batsman, Kuhn will aim to improve on his format-best of 83 not out, scored for the Titans franchise against the Highveld Lions in November 2016.

His Titans side have won South Africa’s last three domestic T20 titles.