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Coach’s Corner – 3 May

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

There is a danger that by the end of May I will have used up all the sporting clichés for the year!! But it has been a rollercoaster of a week and it will be hard to fit it all in this week.

A great fight back against Gloucester in the second innings, but sadly not enough to stop us loosing the game, a close defeat to Worcester and one of the best wins against Middlesex at Lord's yesterday.

The Gloucester game was a real disappointment for lots of reasons, we knew at the half way mark in the game we hadn’t batted well enough and having only scraped to just over 200, knew it wasn’t enough. The wicket looked a belter but got quite hard to score on and we always knew it would need a top effort with the ball in the second innings to get back into the game, and I thought our bowling second innings was top class and nearly got us back into the game. The run chase was always going to be tough, and with Joe having a broken thumb even tougher. I think anybody doubting Joe's fight and passion for Kent cricket will have been left in doubt that he is really committed when they saw him walk to the wicket in the second innings. That was a very brave thing to do and I thought summed up our fight on the last two days.

The Worcester game was such a disappointment, and it left us all quite flat on Sunday night, and I really didn’t enjoy my drive to London straight after the game. We had got ourselves into a really good position and then lost a little momentum with the bat. It was a tough wicket to go in and strike on, and it showed just how well Martin had played. He looked in great touch and big scores in the championship are very close. He works so hard at his game and is always pushing himself to do better, he has a brilliant attitude and works as hard as anybody I have ever seen.

The young guys did well with the ball, and it was encouraging to see the two Adam's bowl so well. Ashley Shaw also takes a lot of credit for his gutsy effort to play on Sunday, it was a gamble on our part to play him, he really needs a little bit more time and needs some second team cricket to work on his bowling, but it showed his attitude is top class to agree to play before he was ready.

Monday at Lord's was one of the best one day performances I have seen, it really was a top class effort from everybody. The attitude and skill levels that everybody showed was top class. Bally again with the ball started well, and the three senior guys, Azhar, Tred and Stevo all showed their quality with excellent spells. Ash then showed what he is capable of, and why we all rate him so highly. The fielding was excellent all the way through.

Martin and Sam played very well and made the run chase look very easy, they played so well and showed that proper cricket shots can always win one day cricket matches, and top batters need to be at the top of the order and allow them time to get in and show their high levels of skill.

During the Gloucester game last week we had the members forum after play one evening. I really enjoy those evenings and like to hear what the members have to say, normally they are very understanding and offer good thoughts and ask sensible questions. It is good to see that people really do care about their Club and have every right to ask challenging questions. We have said on many occasions it will be tough for the next couple of seasons, but that doesn’t mean we are saying it is ok to lose and struggle, as a group of players and staff we are determined to play as well as we can and put on good performances for the members and supporters. It was great to see supporters at the away games we have had so far, and most have been very supportive.

Best wishes,