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14 April 2017.

Kent left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum has started the season in style as he bids to break into the first team, writes Peter Burrowes.

The 23-year-old made his Specsavers County Championship debut in 2016 against a former Test bowler in Monty Panesar at Northampton and took eight wickets against Durham in a second XI friendly this week.

Speaking after starring in the joint Essex-Kent side at Billericay, Qayyum said: “There is fierce competition for places in the first team but I feel my bowling is improving all the time and I need to keep working hard to get another chance.

“Working with Min Patel has been a big influence on my bowling.”

During the winter, Imran played club cricket in Cape Town and trained with Cape Cobras, the local franchise which include Kent’s first overseas signing of the summer, Wayne Parnell which he described as “a great learning curve”.

He is looking to play the occasional match for Bromley as they bid to regain their Shepherd Neame Kent Premier League status.

Kent lost the three-day match by 56 runs on Thursday after a 76-run victory in a 50-over match on Monday.

The second XI begin their competitive campaign with a double-header against Middlesex at Radlett: a 50-over Trophy match on Monday (17 April) followed by a three-day Championship red-ball fixture starting on Tuesday (18 April).