I have to admit I was a tad disgruntled as Cricket Week drew to an end, the fireworks were nice enough but a fourth loss at home in five to Hampshire left Kent’s T20 hopes dangling by a thread.
After an underwhelming 50-over campaign the shorter version appeared to be going the same was and the Nackington Road Grumblers were doing what we do best, grumbling.
I’d say we had every reason to as well, but then the next day Milne took 5-11 at Taunton, Kent beat Somerset and were catapulted back into the fray in an absurdly tight South Group.
At the time of writing “all” Kent need to do to qualify for the last eight is win their last two games away to Essex and at home to Surrey to make it three on the trot.
I suppose it means my first ever visit to Chelmsford isn’t for a dead rubber although the way the place has been portrayed I might as well be Jon Snow in Game of Thrones going north of The Wall to take on the White Walkers single handed.
Back to Canterbury Cricket Week and I have to say it was a bit of a mixed bag. A poor start to our innings against Sussex looked to have doomed us to defeat in front of an excellent crowd.
Billings came in and smashed a fabulous 74 to make a game of it but Sussex built their winning reply to our average 163-9 around an unbeaten 73 by Nash with an over to spare. Even the squiffiest of inhabitants of the CAMRA tent were aware we’d not done ourselves justice on the opening evening.
Sunday saw the start of the West Indies tour match. Sadly, the current tourists are no longer the brilliant and brutal force of nature from the 70’s and 80’s or even the 90’s.
It was a pleasant enough couple of days in the sunshine catching up with old friends, supping beer and watching the parachute display. On the field, young Hartley (4-80) and then Dickson (142) and Crawley (62) caught the eye but it was hardly Underwood vs Richards or Marshall vs Benson of legend.
I dodged the final day because of the weather forecast and state of play. It rained in Harbledown and even heavier in Faversham the following day and so I was quite surprised when the England Under 19 game was completed, albeit with a tonking by India U19 in double quick time.
The final day was the aforementioned Hampshire T20 game, another dismal defeat and the first signs of the crowd getting restless and sarcastic.
Much has been made of the baffling batting order, the bowling. We are so inconsistent it is mindboggling.
I appreciate the T20 competition is very even this year and everyone can beat everyone, but we have been disappointing too many times to be content with the campaign.
As it is, the mathematical curiosity of the denouement means a win in the lion’s den at Chelmsford on Thursday would set up an epic winner-takes-all crackerjack with our chums from the Oval on Friday night which should see Canterbury packed out again.
I hope so, but it might take a repeat of fit-again Milne’s heroics to see us sneaking through in 3rd spot. We can but dream.