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Key predicts close T20 quarter-final

Rob Key has called on his experienced international players to take centre stage in Monday’s Twenty20 Cup quarter-final at St Lawrence.

The Kent Spitfires face the tricky task of overcoming the Durham Dynamos at Canterbury, but Key has experience in the likes of Wayne Parnell, Justin Kemp, Azhar Mahmood and Martin van Jaarsveld to call on at vital stages in the game.

The Dynamos have enough experienced internationals in their ranks as well with Australian opener Dave Warner, England bowlers Liam Plunkett and Steve Harmison, combined with hard hitting batsmen such as Dale Benkenstein, Ian Blackwell and Phil Mustard.

The Kent skipper believes both sides are evenly matched and it will come down to who performs on the day as to which side progresses to finals day.

He told Kent News: “If both teams are at their best it will be tough to pick a winner, I think it’s going to be a pretty close call. They have some class in players like Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett so we will have to make sure it’s a replay of the Friends Provident Trophy semi-final from last season when we beat them.

“Right the way through both sides there are some class players, but I think what will be crucial is who performs on the day and that will prove the difference between the two sides.”

Key does have one ace up his sleeve though and that’s South African international fast bowler Wayne Parnell. The left-arm quick showed his class under pressure in the ICC World Twenty20 last month and if he fires at the right time, Kent could make history and head for finals day on August 15 for the third year in a row.

“He is a fantastic cricketer and was one of the best bowlers in the ICC World Twenty20 so we hope he comes into this game with a lot of confidence and does the job for us,” Key said.

“It would be an achievement to progress, especially as Twenty20 gets harder and harder each year. There is no better thing in domestic cricket than finals day and it would be nice to be there again this year.”

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