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LV=CC Kent v Yorkshire match preview

Monday 19th April 2010

LV=County Championship Division One
21 April – 24 April 2010
Kent v Yorkshire
St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

Kent will look to bounce back from a heavy opening defeat, at the hands of Nottinghamshire, when they welcome Yorkshire to the St Lawrence Ground for their first home LV= County Championship match of the season.

Rob Key“s men struggled at Trent Bridge and lost by an innings and 32 runs. Now they take on the in-form White Rose County, buoyed by two impressive championship wins already this season. In the first round of matches Yorkshire chased down a tough 291 in the fourth innings to edge out Warwickshire by four wickets at Edgbaston. Young wicketkeeper Jonathan Bairstow was the star of the show. He hit 81 to lead Andrew Gale“s side to victory. Another youngster who impressed was local lad Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who picked up five for 68 in the Bears second innings.

Last week, at Headingley, they welcomed Somerset and ran out winners by six wickets after chasing down a modest victory target of 198. After England Lions star Gale had hit a first innings century, Hannon-Dalby once again impressed. He returned figures of five for 68 to leave a gettable victory target and Adam Lyth“s knock of 90 made light work of it. It means that Yorkshire sit pretty at the top of the division one table coming into this game.

Like Kent, Gale“s side are currently functioning without an overseas star as they wait for Aussie Ryan Harris to finish IPL duties. However they signed West Indian paceman Tino Best, who has played second team cricket for Kent, this week until the end of May but he won“t make the trip to Canterbury as he remains in Barbados unable to fly over to England. Despite this England bowlers Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Adil Rashid all make the trip whilst the likes of Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph are included in a strong batting line-up.

The last time these two sides met in domestic four-day cricket was back in the summer of 2008 where Kent, despite suffering relegation from division one that season, dominated. Firstly, in July, Rob Key“s men edged to a three wicket victory at Canterbury. Azhar Mahmood took six for 55 in Yorkshire“s first effort of 410, Rob Key then responded with a personal knock of 157 as Kent took a first innings lead of 57. Yasir Arafat“s four for 38 meant Kent were set a victory target of 140. At one stage they looked in trouble at 108-7 but Yasir and Geraint Jones kept their cool to knock off the runs and take the points.

The sides then met at Scarborough in August. Martin van Jaarsveld was the mainstay of Kent“s first innings, stroking 107 out of a total of 227. Fellow South African Rudolph cracked 146 in Yorkshire“s reply of 457 to leave Key“s men with a mountain to climb. However they responded by hitting 433 in their second innings, with batsman Neil Dexter hitting a ton. Yorkshire were set 204 to win but Kent nearly pulled off an amazing win. Three wickets apiece from Amjad Khan and Robbie Joseph reduced the home side to 166 for nine. Unfortunately the last pairing of Matthew Hoggard and Deon Kruis defended resolutely as Kent were denied a crucial victory in their bid for survival.

Kent have made one change to the side that took on Nottinghamshire last week. Batsman James Hockley (pictured) replaces Phil Edwards.

Kent: Joe Denly, Rob Key (C), Geraint Jones (W),Martin van Jaarsveld, Sam Northeast, Darren Stevens, James Hockley, James Tredwell, Matt Coles, Azhar Mahmood, Amjad Khan

Yorkshire: Joe Sayers, Adam Lyth, Anthony McGrath, Jacques Rudolph, Andrew Gale (capt), Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Steven Patterson, Oliver Hanno-Dalby and David Wainwright