Doing ‘the double’

Friday 18th June 2021

Men’s First Team

Doing ‘the double’

By Eddie Allcorn

With the European Football Championships on, cricket often sadly gets pushed out of the limelight in tournament years.

I was one of the lucky 18,497 fans inside Wembley for the England vs Croatia game. I would guess though, that I was the only one with a print at home ticket for Kent’s T20 Blast game vs Gloucestershire in my pocket!

With Kent having so helpfully moved the start time to 18:30, a plan was hatched to “do the double” and it went like this…

The England game kicked off at 14:00, it was hot and glorious and England played well to win a tight game against their nemesis from the 2018 World Cup, Croatia, 1-0. I stayed to clap the players off, joined in with the joyful rendition of “Football’s Coming Home” 25 years after I had last done so at Euro ‘96.

I left the stadium at 15:55 and was on the tube at Wembley Park by 16:15. So far so good. I was at St Pancras by 16:45 and snaffled a celebratory sandwich and cold drink before boarding the 17:12 High Speed train to Canterbury West.

It all ran to time meaning arrival at 18.06, a taxi to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence and having got my scorecard, plonked myself down in my seat at 18:25… Phew.

The actual game turned out to be a bit of an unlikely thriller, for much of it Gloucestershire had their noses in front but Kent secured the win by five runs to finish off the perfect day!

With Kent 16/3 a rebuilding job was required, Leaning continuing his good form with 81* and Bell-Drummond with 51, dragged Kent to a very competitive score of 183/5, the final over going for a stunning 27 changing the whole momentum of the game from a subdued below par feel to genuinely hopeful. Take a bow Mr. Leaning!

The Gloucestershire reply always looked like we were heading for a defeat. Some errors in the field crept in and a couple of overs were biffed violently high into the communal garden of the flats on the Old Dover Road side of The Spitfire Ground. There then followed several surreal and comical delays as the enthusiastic but elderly residents ferreted around in the bushes looking for the ball!

Gloucestershire were cruising at 96/2 in the eleventh over but Qais Ahmad and Denly struck and gradually suffocated the visitor’s reply.

With just ten required off the final over with wickets in hand, step forward Fred Klaassen. Redemption was sweet, first ball danger man Howell clean bowled for 44, Taylor then caught second ball and Gloucestershire fell apart. An Ahmed run-out left them needing 6 off the last ball to tie, the could only manage a win and Kent had triumphed by an unlikely five runs to go top of the group! I walked out of the ground beaming like an idiot, a perfect sunny day, and England/Kent double to gladden the heart!

Kent followed that-up with a disappointing loss at Taunton to Somerset but made amends on a tricky wicket at Cardiff to skittle Glamorgan for 104 to win by 40 after having suffered some quite spiteful and premature criticism on social media having “only” posted 144.

I understand people passionately wanting Kent to win, but sometimes it does seem a noisy minority of keyboard warriors can’t wait to stick the boot in!

I’ll just enjoy the wins when the come which obviously can’t be every time… Still we went back to the top of the table for the time being. Setting up the Essex game nicely on Sunday.

If you have a ticket and can’t now go please let the Club know so that they can reallocate! Come on Super Kent!


Essex Eagles travel to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence to contest the latest chapter of the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ saga on Father’s Day, Sunday 20 June (14:30 start).

Click here to check for Kent Spitfires vs. Essex Eagles ticket availability >>>

If you are a Member or ticket holder and now cannot attend, please contact the Club at members@kentcricket.co.uk so a fellow Kent supporter has the opportunity to see the Spitfires live.