LV=CC match preview: Lancashire v Kent

Sunday 25th April 2010

LV=County Championship division one – Tuesday, 27 to Friday, 30 April 2010.
Lancashire v Kent
Old Trafford, Manchester

Kent are in Manchester this week to take on Lancashire as they search for their first LV= County Championship victory of the new season.

At Canterbury last week Rob Key“s side pushed leaders Yorkshire all the way last week, only to be thwarted on the final day by a resolute batting display from the Tykes as the game ended in an entertaining draw.

Now Kent take on the Red Rose county, and it promises to be another tough clash as Lancashire comprehensively won their opening championship match against Essex by eight wickets last week. The main performers for them were paceman Jimmy Anderson, who took match figures of nine for 97, and Paul Horton who struck a first innings 123 to put Glenn Chapple“s side in control. Anderson however won“t be available, for Lancashire, as he boarded a flight to the West Indies last night, alongside Kent“s James Tredwell, as part of England t20 World Cup squad. However, they still look strong without their star man; an attack of Sajid Mahmood and Chapple offers plenty of wicket-taking ability.

One intriguing battle will between two South Africans as Kent welcome new overseas player Makhaya Ntini (pictured) to their ranks. He will be up against his fellow countryman, Ashwell Prince – the mainstay of the Lancashire batting line-up.

The last time the two sides met, in the longer form of the game, was back during the 2008 summer and it finished honours even. In August, at the St Lawrence Ground, the home side claimed a thumping win. Batting first, a Geraint Jones century saw Kent up to 283 before Robbie Joseph ripped through the Lancashire top order, claiming five for 34, as they were dismissed for just 125. Martin Saggers also chipped in taking 4-36.

Joe Denly“s 106 was complimented with half centuries from Neil Dexter and Martin van Jaarsveld, in Kent“s second knock, leaving Lancashire with a stiff 476 victory target. Despite Mark Chilton“s valiant ton the visitors were never in the hunt as Joseph (3-72) and Tredwell (3-76) secured a 211 run victory for Kent.

However, Lancashire exacted their revenge in low-scoring encounter at Liverpool in September. Lancashire made a measly 107 in their first innings as Joseph, Amjad Khan, Yasir Arafat and Ryan McLaren all took wickets. Kent responded with 233 with Jones again in the runs, making 91, before Arafat“s 4-41 restricted Lancashire to 288 all-out. This left Kent“s batsman with a victory target of 163. Disappointingly they crumbled to 92 all out as Chapple took six for 40 to claim victory by 70 runs. The defeat pushed Kent closer to trap door and they suffered relegation that year.

The Kent side for the game is as follows: Rob Key (C), Joe Denly, Geraint Jones, Martin van Jaarsveld, Sam Northeast, Darren Stevens, James Hockley, Simon Cook, Matt Coles, Makhaya Ntini, Amjad Khan

12th man: Warren Lee

Picture: Sarah Ansell