I have to admit I wasn’t exactly “feeling the magic” as I ambled up the Old Dover Road for the first day of Canterbury Cricket Week against Gloucestershire.
The previous nine days had tested my patience like many Kent fans and the fact that in theory it was quite possibly our last home one-day game of the summer and it was still July was utterly depressing.
Well we beat Gloucestershire, it was a bit one-sided, for neutrals it might have been a bit dull, but for those of the Kentish persuasion it was just what the cricket doctor ordered. A simple professional win.
The excellent crowd on a Sunday afternoon basking in the sunshine as Kent put someone to the sword echoed memories of my childhood watching the Sunday League. Gloucestershire’s score of 200 was unlikely to cause too much anguish even if they’d escaped being skittled for 150 and so it proved.
Denly and Bell-Drummond built the solid foundations and we cruised to victory. Such was their ease that the notoriously pessimistic Nackington Road Grumblers were reduced to nodding appreciatively as another four thundered over the boundary or discussing the record number of Gypsy Tarts consumed by one of their number in one day’s play (three if you fancy the challenge) or who from the Carry On Films would play various characters to be found at Canterbury.
Plenty of takers for Bernard Bresslaw and Sid James, less so for Hattie Jacques…
Victory set up the final game of the group stage against Sussex, victory confirmed qualification for the last eight, but much to the delight of most Kent fans a combination of an abandonment for Essex and defeat for Hampshire presented Kent with a home game against Yorkshire.
Now that is a game to capture the imagination of everyone! Hopefully Canterbury will be packed out and roar Kent on with the prize of a home semi-final against Surrey or Northamptonshire up for grabs.
The holy grail for many would be a return to Lord’s to end the final hoodoo but that remains a dream. More realistically though, Mr Graves is cordially invited to meet the Nackington Road Grumblers to discuss his plans… if he dares!!!