Cricket: Motivation for Kent is revenge: NatWest semi-finalists have different incentives. Glenn Moore reports

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The Independent Online
THE Brumbrella attendants have been on red alert for weeks and the weather forecast checked hourly. After the mess they made of their Benson and Hedges Cup quarter- final with Kent, Warwickshire have taken no chances with today's NatWest Trophy semi-final.

Kent return to Edgbaston still simmering from that May meeting, which ended in a bowl-out defeat, after Warwickshire had neglected to use the Brumbrella cover to protect the pitch from a widely-forecast pre-match downpour.

Kent's anger has hardly been assuaged by subsequent events, for while Warwickshire went unpunished by the TCCB, Kent's all- rounder, Matthew Fleming, was censured for accusing Warwickshire of 'gross incompetence' in a magazine article. A Kent member is now attempting to force an emergency general meeting of the county to propose a motion of no confidence in the TCCB over the affair.

Having dropped their official complaint to Lord's, Kent's best answer is to win today, and after a mixed season they will not be short of motivation. However, Warwickshire have only lost to Lancashire and Worcestershire all summer, and the implausible grand slam remains in reach.

They have wobbled of late while Kent have been in strong one-day form. Warwickshire will be at full strength, Gladstone Small having recovered from a groin strain, while Kent are without Alan Igglesden (back) but include Dean Headley (hernia) in a 14-man squad.

It is 15 years since Kent last won a competition, which means the padlock on their trophy cabinet is only marginally rustier than Surrey's, who have not disturbed the engravers since 1982. Just as surprising is that they have only crossed the River Thames for a Lord's final once in that time, though at the least the passports will be at hand, having been dug out in readiness before the Benson and Hedges semi-final earlier this season.

On that occasion, Brian Lara's only significant limited-overs innings this season ensured they were pushed back in the drawer, this time Worcestershire, beaten by Lara's Warwickshire in the Benson and Hedges final, stand in their way.

Four of the England team from Leeds will have travelled down yesterday, all of whom are in good form. While Graeme Hick and Steve Rhodes return to a full- strength Worcestershire team - Tom Moody having recovered from a hamstring strain - Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe play for Surrey, who recall Martin Bicknell after injury.

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