With the tight print deadlines for our Match Guides, for which I write my 'Welcomes', there was no opportunity in the last one for me to comment on the quite remarkable innings played by Brendan Nash against Gloucestershire in sweltering heat at Cheltenham on Saturday July 13.
I think it was one of the most heroic innings ever played by a Kent batsman and, thankfully, Brendan suffered no lasting effects of being helped from the field, on 199, with dehydration and heat exhaustion. Also, of course, his amazing effort played a huge part in an ultimately successful and thrilling chase of 411 to win on the final day of a championship match which had been dominated by the batsmen of both sides.
Even with the friendliness of the pitch, and the speed of an outfield parched bone dry by a hot sun throughout the game, it was a remarkable effort by Brendan and the rest of the team to score such a number of runs for victory, after the two captains, Gloucestershire's Michael Klinger and our own James Tredwell, had set up a final day contest with imagination and, it must be said given the final outcome, perfection!
The victory at Cheltenham was an important boost to the team's morale, after a highly disappointing start to our Friends Life t20 South Group campaign, but I trust that our younger players in particular will have learned an awful lot from the experiences of the last month.
Success in any sport is only achieved through hard work and by learning from these games in which you are beaten, and I cannot think of a better example of the value and power of sheer detirmination than Brendan's extraordinary innings – followed up, of course, by another championship hundred for him in the Hampshire match which began just two days after the victory at Cheltenham. What a tribute that second century was to his fitness, stamina, mental strength and will to succeed.
I hope you all enjoy Monday night's Friends Life t20 fixture under lights at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence. It has not been the best of Twenty20 campaigns for us and some of our neighbouring counties this year, but I am sure an entertaining evening is in store on Monday night. Many thahks, as ever for your continued support.
Photo: Sarah Ansell