LV=CC: Warwickshire v Kent match preview

Monday 30th August 2010

Warwickshire v Kent
LV=County Championship Division One
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 – Friday, 3 September 2010. 11am start daily
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Kent travel to Birmingham on Tuesday to play arguably one the most important games of their season as they take on Warwickshire in a clash that could go a long way to deciding who avoids the trap door to division two of the LV=CC.

Both sides have been loitering around the relegation places and with three games to play; points are now at a premium as they look to stave off the drop. Kent, playing a third game in as many days, have a better chance of getting out of trouble but they take on a Warwickshire side scrapping for their lives.

In their previous outings in this competition, Kent suffered a heavy 121 run defeat to Lancashire. Chasing 339 on the final day at the St Lawrence Ground, a top-order collapse extinguished any chances of an improbable victory as the home side were reduced to 118-7. Matt Coles did however provide another glimpse of his budding all-round talents as his robust 51 off 43 balls gave the Canterbury faithful something to cheer about but inevitably Kent were bowled out for 217 to hand Lancs. a crushing win with Gary Keedy (4-53) shining for them.

Warwickshire gained the perfect tonic with a seven wicket victory over Essex, in a low scoring match at Edgbaston. Irishman Boyd Rankin starred with the ball, taking five wickets, as Essex were shot out for just 114. Warwickshire responded with 155, to lead by 41 runs on first innings, and then dismissed their opponents for just 193 second time around to leave them with a modest victory target. All-rounder Darren Maddy kept his nerve, with an unbeaten 50, to guide them through to victory.

Kent will be looking to avenge a disappointing last day defeat they suffered at the hands of this week“s opponents earlier in the season, when Warwickshire took a 44-run win away from Canterbury. The visitors batted first and four wickets apiece from Simon Cook and Coles placated Jonathan Trott“s 67 to help restrict the Bears to 250. Kent then hammered home their advantage as 95 from Joe Denly and contributions from Darren Steven (57) and Martin van Jaarsveld (47) saw them post 377 – a healthy first innings lead of 127. Rikki Clarke took 6-63 for the Bears.

Westwood“s side scrapped hard in their second innings as the skipper himself made 68 alongside 94 from England star Ian Bell to see them to 327, setting Kent a very gettable victory target of 201. Cook took his match haul to seven wickets with three more second-innings scalps. The home side looked in total control at one stage at 113-3 but then a collapse, inspired by Pakistani spin bowler Imran Tahir“s 4-27, saw them fall short of their target. A van Jaarsveld half-century proved to be the only resistance from Kent“s point of view as Warwickshire snatched an improbable victory. Kent will be striving to exact revenge this week.

Key all-rounder Azhar Mahmood (pictured) comes into the 13 man squad for the game in Birmingham.

Kent: Key (C), Denly, van Jaarsveld, Jones (W), Stevens, Blake, Mahmood, Tredwell, Coles, Cook, Bandara, Nel, Northeast

Picture:Getty Images