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Durham’s Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street

Injury setbacks to bowlers ahead of Kent’s visit to Durham

Kent begin their second game of the Specsavers County Championship against Durham today (Friday).

They are hoping for a reverse of fortunes following their five-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire in Canterbury on Monday.

A 12-man squad has travelled to the north-east to take on the three-time county champions who play their first match.

It will be Kent’s decision to bowl first at the Riverside with batsman Alex Blake recalled in place of seamer Grant Stewart, who is suffering from a hamstring strain.

Big Mitch Claydon is also unavailable with a hand injury while off-spinner James Tredwell has shoulder problems.

Durham and South Africa’s Aiden Markram

Durham will see the debut of South African Test opener Aiden Markram.

Markram, 23, hails from Centurion in the Gauteng and alongside onetime Kent paceman KG Rabada was one of the stand out performers in the recent controversial South Africa v Australia series. He scored 480 runs in the series, more than any other player, at an average of 60 with a high of 152.

After their trip to Durham, Kent will return to Canterbury for a four-day match against Pakistan starting on Saturday, April 28.

The 12-man Kent squad in Durham today is captain Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sean Dickson, Heino Kuhn,  Zak Crawley, Alex Blake, Darren Stevens, Will Gidman, wicket-keeper Adam Rouse, Matt Henry, Harry Podmore and Ivan Thomas.

Kent’s new permanent captain Sam Billings, who replaced the departed Sam Northeast in January, is currently playing in the Indian Premier League.

His Chennai Superkings take on the Rajasthan Royals at at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Billings was instrumental in Chennai’s victory on April 10 after smashing 56 off just 23 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Chennai currently lie fourth in the IPL table.

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