Coles guides Kent to impressive total

Friday 6th April 2012

Men’s First Team

A maiden century for 21-year-old Matt Coles, who was involved in a record-breaking ninth-wicket stand of 153 with Mark Davies, piled on the agony for Yorkshire on the second day of their LV= County Championship match with Kent at Headingley.

The pair rattled up the runs in only 37 overs and the declaration followed at 537 for nine as soon as Coles reached his century in dramatic circumstances, the ball after he had been dropped on the cover boundary by Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale.

He was able to dash two from the lapse to take him to 97 and he then cleared the rope with an audacious reverse sweep at Adil Rashid to go into three figures off 111 balls with eight fours and three sixes.

Davies had departed in the previous over, caught at slip by Gary Ballance for 58 from 120 deliveries with 11 boundaries.

The stand fell only one run short of the record for the ninth wicket at Headingley, set last year by Richard Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom in the Roses match.

Both Rashid and paceman, Iain Wardlaw, conceded over 100 runs and the pick of the attack was Ajmal Shahzad who bowled well in the morning to finish with three for 86.

It turned out to be a particularly unhappy day for Pyrah who injured himself in the field and had to be taken to hospital where an X-ray showed he had broken a bone in his left hand. He returned with his wrist in plaster and could be out of action for up to eight weeks.

Kent's record score on a Yorkshire ground left the home side needing to make 388 to avoid the possibility of the follow-on and Joe Root and Joe Sayers experienced little trouble in adding 32 in nine overs up to the tea interval at which light rain ended play for the day.

Darren Stevens and Adam Riley resumed Kent's innings on a healthy 345 for five in 96 overs but the pair made laboured progress against Sidebottom and Shahzad, shunning the opportunity to go for a fifth batting bonus points.

Stevens eventually opened out by off-driving Shahzad for four but in attempting to on-drive the next ball he mistimed his shot and gave a simple catch to Sayers at mid-on.

Inspired by this success, Shahzad quickly flattened Geraint Jones' off-stump and when Rashid bowled Riley for eight from 46 deliveries Kent had faltered to 374 for eight in 111 overs.

But any hopes Yorkshire had of bowling out their opponents for less than 400 soon evaporated as Maidstone-born Coles and Davies treated the flagging attack with contempt, Coles launching himself into a square leg six off Rashid before pulling Root's second delivery into the West Stand.

Coles completed his half-century just before lunch when Kent were 459 for eight and they continued their assault in the afternoon, aided by Sidebottom dropping Coles at deep backward square leg.

The century stand arrived off 113 balls with Coles' straight drive against Shahzad hitting the boundary boards and when the pair went past 107 together they had exceeded Kent's previous best ninth-wicket stand against Yorkshire of 107 by Neil Taylor and Min Patel at Maidstone in 1994.

Kent's highest score in Yorkshire of 486 at Scarborough in 2007 was also overtaken and Davies was just four short of his career-best knock when he fell to the medium pace of Anthony McGrath.

Click here for the scorecard

Yorkshire v Kent day 2 from Kent Cricket on Vimeo.

Photo: Sarah Ansell