LV=CC: Warwickshire v Kent day two match report

Tuesday 31st August 2010

Warwickshire v Kent
LV=County Championship – Division One
Tuesday, 31 August – Friday, 3 September 2010
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Warwickshire won the toss and chose to bat

Warwickshire first innings: 294 all out, 84.4 overs
Botha 76, Tahir 69*, Woakes 30
Coles 3-49, Stevens 3-63, Cook 2-65

Kent first innings: 111 all out, 31.3 overs
Blake 33, Northeast 32, Tredwell 12
Woakes 6-52, Carter 3-46, Clarke 1-4

Warwickshire second innings: 140 all out, 33.1 overs
Woakes 51, Carter 26, Johnson 10
Steven 4-38, Azhar 4-51, Coles 1-21

Kent second innings: 131 for five, 36.4 overs
van Jaarsveld 44*, Jones 41, Northeast 14
Woakes 3-19, Carter 2-30

Day two match report by Sam Dixon

Kent’s cricketers face an uphill task in this crucial LV=County Championship clash with fellow relegation candidates Warwickshire, after more abject batting enabled the Bears to take control on another unpredictable day’s cricket at Edgbaston.

In their first innings the St Lawrence outfit capitulated to 111 all-out – conceding a deficit of 183. However they fought back to reduce the home side to 54 for eight in their second knock but more staunch lower order resistance from the home side meant they recovered to 140, setting Kent a tough 324 to win. At stumps they reached 131 for five, still requiring another 193 to win.

The Kent batting display, on the second morning, can only be described as woeful as Chris Woakes continued where he finished off the previous evening by ripping through the Kent card. Sam Northeast and James Tredwell took the score to 50 for three before the former, who had played attractively for 32 off 48 balls, became Woakes“s fourth victim with Ant Botha taking the catch at slip. Northeast“s departure sparked a spell where the visitors lost five wickets for eight runs in 26 balls. The very next ball Woakes struck again to remove Martin van Jaarsveld (pictured) to complete his five-wicket haul and leave Kent struggling on 50 for five. The sixth fell four balls later when Neil Carter got in on the act as he took out Tredwell for 12. Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens didn“t hang around either as Woakes and Carter, respectively, picked up their wickets without the batting duo troubling the scorers to make it five ducks in the innings as Rob Key“s men slumped to 58 for eight.

It was left to Alex Blake to provide a little light entertainment, late in the innings, as he played positively – despite the scenario his side were in. Azhar Mahmood was next to go at the other end as Carter trapped him leg-before for eight. The last wicket pairing of Blake and Matt Coles showed some guts to drag Kent into three figures, putting on 39, before Blake was bowled by Rikki Clarke for 33 – an innings that contained six boundaries. Coles was left unbeaten on 13 as Kent were bundled out for a meagre 111 – 183 behind the Bears. 21 year-old Woakes was the main destroyer returning 6-52, while new-ball partner Carter chipped in with 3-46 as Kent crumbled.

Just before lunch, home skipper Ian Westwood declined to enforce the follow-on as Warwickshire looked to bat Kent out of this relegation clash. At the interval they reached two for no loss.

After the break the visitors made an early breakthrough as Varun Chopra nicked Stevens to Jones behind the wicket on nine. Two balls later, the all-rounder struck again as he trapped former Leicestershire team-mate Darren Maddy in front for a second-ball duck. Suddenly the Bears were 11 for two, however they still boasted a 194 run lead. The flurry of wickets continued though as Azhar soon burst onto the scene in his fifth over, clean bowling Westwood for seven and Clarke in successive balls to leave the home side teetering on 17 for four, already 11 wickets had fallen before 2.15pm on day two.

Azhar then bagged his third to make it 28 for five as Jim Troughton (nine) became another leg before victim as the Pakistani all-rounder looked to run amok. Laurie Evans was fourth capture, with another leg before shout being upheld. At 33 for six, a lead of 216, Kent eyed an opening if they could run through the Bears tail unlike in their first innings. Azhar“s figures stood at four for 15.

The wickets continued to tumble in Birmingham as wicketkeeper Richard Johnson was next to succumb to the probing lines of Stevens as another LBW decision went Kent“s way. Johnson, at that moment, had been the only Warwickshire batsman to reach double figures with ten. Botha soon followed – making it 54 for eight as Stevens nabbed his fourth, and just as the visitors sensed a real opening it turned into the same old story for Kent as they failed to see off the tail once their nemesis Woakes came in. The right-hander batted positively and productively; firstly putting on 72 with Carter (26) for the ninth wicket, and then number eleven Imran Tahir provided him with ample support to reach a fine 41-ball half century before Cook bowled him. Warwickshire had recovered to an extent – making 140, setting Kent an extremely testing 324 to win and again it started in disastrous fashion as Joe Denly fell in the first over, in the same way as he fell in the first innings, bowled by Woakes, this time for four. Suddenly the improbable looked impossible.

Things were made that bit tougher when Woakes’s golden day continued as he had Key caught behind for seven to leave Kent on 13 for two. In this game the visiting openers contributed 11 runs between them. The left-handed Tredwell, in at number three, was the next to go when he was caught by Maddy off the bowling of Carter for seven. Carter doubled his tally for the evening session in his next over when Northeast, again threatening to offer resistance, offered a catch to Chopra and fell for 14. At 37 for four Kent were wilting away.

For the rest of the evening session some stability was finally brought to proceedings as van Jaarsveld and Jones batted patiently to add 95 for the fifth wicket until disaster struck in the final over of play as Woakes trapped Jones leg before for 41. At stumps Kent reached 131 for five and with van Jaarsveld the key, unbeaten on 44, as the visitors face a tough task on day three.