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Match Preview: Kent v Glamorgan, LV= CC, 19 to 22 July, St Lawrence Ground

Wednesday 18th July 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent v Glamorgan, LV=County Championship Division Two

St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, 19 – 22 July 2012

Kent return to LV= County Championship action tomorrow as they welcome Glamorgan to the St Lawrence Ground, for a game that could ignite their promotion charge from division two.

Rob Key’s men are currently unbeaten in this season’s competition and sit in third position on 89 points – seven behind second placed Yorkshire and 32 adrift of leaders Derbyshire. However, a win against the Welshman could see Kent move into the promotion places, so it’s all to play for at Canterbury.

Glamorgan, only yesterday, secured their first win of the LV= CC season when they successfully chased down a thrilling, contrived run chase at Wantage Road against Northants. After rain wiped out the best part of two days, Glamorgan were set a daunting target of 351, from 90 overs, on the final day but claimed victory with three wickets and five balls to spare, largely thanks to half-centuries from Marcus North, Jim Allenby and Mark Wallace. The win hauls them off the bottom of the table and stands them in good stead ahead of their trip to the county.

Last time Kent were in LV= CC action, again, like much of the summer, rain ran out as the winner, during Tunbridge Wells Festival Week, ruining a nicely poised fixture with Hampshire. Batting first, the visitors posted 303 for eight, with Liam Dawson making an unbeaten 134. Then a couple of forfeited innings followed, setting Kent a final day target. At times the home side threatened to launch a winning bid with Sam Northeast scoring an attractive 79 but at 220 for six the captains shook hands on a draw as rain reigned supreme again.

The last time Kent and Glamorgan met in a four-day fixture, last season, the circumstances were much different as Kent made history by staging floodlit championship cricket for the first time at the St Lawrence Ground. Unfortunately, for the home side, the experiment didn’t bring a change in fortunes as they finished the season on a low – the visitors taking glory by eight wickets.

The game – selected by the ECB for the trial as it had no bearing on division two promotion matters – was played with a pink ball. Each day started at 2pm and ended at around 9pm as spectators braved chilly conditions to witness history being made. The cricket itself proved to be a turgid affair, with both sides struggling to get to grips with the altered playing conditions.

Seven Kent batsmen were clean bowled in their first innings, as the hosts could only muster 237. Joe Denly, who finished the season with a real flourish, made 69 and captain Geraint Jones contributed 48 but Welsh seam bowler John Glover returned fine figures of 4-49, to restrict the Invicta County.

In reply, Glamorgan adapted better with the bat and took control of the game by posting 423 –thanks largely to a magnificent 147 from former Surrey batsman Stewart Walters. The Australian-born stroke-maker hit 15 boundaries and one six during his 257-ball stay to put the visitors in a commanding position.

Despite being behind in the game, Kent battled hard in their second-innings. Jones again led from the front with 79 while Northeast and Azhar Mahmood also scored half-centuries to ensure the visitors had to bat again. Left-arm spinner Dean Cosker bagged four wickets for the Welsh county as the hosts were dismissed for 312, setting a target of 127.

Glamorgan lost Gareth Rees early to Matt Coles but skipper Alviro Petersen took the attacking route to see his side to victory. The South African blazed an unbeaten 70, off just 54-balls, to help claim an eight-wicket win for the visitors. Defeat for Kent, in the historic fixture, meant they ended the season at the foot of division two.

Circumstances on and off the field are much different this time around and Head Coach Jimmy Adams will be hoping his team can dodge the July showers and move into the division two promotion places on their home ground.

Team news to follow