Carter’s hundred dents Kent’s title challenge

Saturday 12th September 2009

Geraint Jones top-scored with 63 in a losing cause

Kent v Warwickshire NatWestPro40 Division 2, Canterbury.
Warwickshire win by 59 runs.
By Mark Pennell
WARWICKSHIRE all-rounder Neil Carter was forced to retire hurt after hitting a rapid, unbeaten hundred that helped secure a comfortable 59-run Pro40 win over fellow title challengers Kent with 26 balls to spare.
South African-born Carter took advantage of a sublime St Lawrence pitch, short boundaries and an inexperienced home attack to club a 64-ball century with six sixes and 13 fours for his part in Warwickshire“s impressive 40-over total of 283 for six.
The Spitfires, who were without England one-day opener Joe Denly, also elected to rest leading scorers Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld and they paid the price as Kent“s run chase ran out of steam at 224 all out.
Batting first having lost the toss, Warwickshire lost Jonathan Trott to a first over run out when a mix-up in wanting a second to Alex Blake at mid-wicket saw him run out at the striker“s end to make it three for one.
England“s Ian Bell (22) then teamed up with Carter to add 71 for the second wicket in nine overs before Bell mistimed his pull shot against Simon Cook to Rob Ferley at mid-on.
That was the cue for Carter to take centre stage as the 34-year-old left-hander took control against Kent“s inexperienced seam attack. He helped plunder 22 odd one over from Phil Edwards and then pulled a six off acting skipper Justin Kemp to move to his first one-day hundred against county opposition.
But, in the 19th over of the innings and with his side on 155, Carter when at the non-striker“s end appeared to collapse over his bat and was soon taken from the field in considerable pain.
Scans from the nearby Kent and Canterbury Hospital later revealed that Carter had slipped a disc whilst batting, meaning he may not take any further part in the Bears title challenge.
The Bears were given further impetus by Jim Troughton“s 54-ball hundred with five fours, but his stay ended with a waft across the line that saw him bowled by Darren Stevens.
Tom Ambrose (46) made the only major contribution thereafter but he too fell to Stevens after clipping a simple catch to mid-wicket leaving the Spitfires to chase at 7.1 an over for victory.
Both home openers Sam Northeast (12) and James Hockley (7) paid the price for playing across the line to Chris Woakes as both fell leg-before early in the Kent reply.
Alex Blake (1) chipped a low catch to mid-on and at 38 for three Kent were deep in trouble as their title challenge continued to slide off the rails.
They re-grouped through Geraint Jones with an emphatic 63 for 60 balls and then James Tredwell with 45 off 36 balls, but Jones holed out to deep cover and Tredwell heaved across the line to make it 212 for eight and Kent“s marginal victory hopes went with him.