Kent name strong 12 for opening championship match

Tuesday 13th April 2010

LV= County Championship Division One
15 April – 18 April 2010
Nottinghamshire v Kent
Trent Bridge

Kent“s cricketers start their LV= County Championship campaign tomorrow with a tough trip to Trent Bridge to take on Nottinghamshire.

Both counties finished their pre-season with draws against university opposition, at the weekend, and it was both sides“ batsmen who impressed the most. Kent took on Loughborough MCCU and the top four – Rob Key, Joe Denly, Geraint Jones and Martin van Jaarsveld – made centuries during the game at the St Lawrence Ground. With the ball, Simon Cook weighed in with 3-24 while Matt Coles and Phil Edwards chipped in with two wickets apiece during the students first innings. Both have travelled to the east midlands.

Nottinghamshire, captained by former England keeper Chris Read, took on Durham MCCU and, again, it was their batsmen who earned some valuable time in the middle as Bilal Shafayat, Mark Wagh and Paul Franks all hit centuries. South African overseas star Hashim Amla struck 86 during their first innings. With the ball, England left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom is fit and raring to go as is Graeme Swann. Both look set to take their places in the starting XI.

The two sides last met, in championship cricket, during the summer of 2008. In the opening round of matches Notts recorded a ten-wicket victory at Canterbury as Kent failed to suitably recover from slumping to 13 for four on the first morning. However, Rob Key“s men exacted their revenge in May at Trent Bridge. After Ryan McLaren“s six for 75 in the home side“s second knock, Kent were left with a tricky 244 victory target. Despite looking to be in trouble, at 173 for seven, McLaren and Pakistani Yasir Arafat held their nerve, putting on 71, as Kent completed a three wicket win. This all came after Sidebottom had reduced Kent to 5-4 at one stage in their first innings.

The Kent 12: Rob Key (captain), Joe Denly, Geraint Jones (wicketkeeper), Martin van Jaarsveld, Sam Northeast, Darren Stevens, James Hockley, James Tredwell, Azhar Mahmood, Amjad Khan, Matt Coles, Phil Edwards.

Kent look likely to stick with the same top six that played against Loughborough, meaning that wicketkeeper Geraint Jones with continue to bat at three. Amjad Khan returns to spearhead the pace attack as Robbie Joseph continues to recover from shoulder surgery. Team director Paul Farbrace and captain Rob Key will assess the wicket before naming their side for their first match of the season, back in division one.