Match Preview: Kent v Leicestershire, 23rd to 26th May

Tuesday 22nd May 2012

Men’s First Team

Match Preview: Kent v Leicestershire, 23rd to 26th May

Kent v Leicestershire, LV=County Championship Division Two

St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, 23rd – 26th May 2012

FollowingKent's first defeat of the season,to the Unicorns in the Clydesdale Bank 40 on Sunday, Kent return to LV= County Championship action this week with Leicestershire providing the opposition.

Jimmy Adams’ men maintained their unbeaten start to the championship season last week when they played out a draw against Northants to cement their third spot in division two – 26 points behind leaders Derbyshire.

Leicestershire, their latest opponents, were also involved in a stalemate last week as they drew with Essex at Grace Road. The result means the Foxes remain second from bottom, having recorded 44 points from their six games.

The last time Matthew Hoggard’s side visited the county, Kent ran out five-wicket victors during Tunbridge Wells festival week last season.

Huge crowds flocked to the Royal Spa Town to make the most of the fine weather as former opener Joe Denly showed his class. A dashing 143 in the first innings was followed up with a match-winning 74 as the home side chased down 155 to claim a crucial win.

In their most competent batting display of the season, Kent posted 459 first up on a flat wicket. Alongside Denly’s heroics; Sam Northeast fell one short of a deserved ton and Rob Key made 91 as the skipper and Denly added 198 for the opening wicket. A slight lower-order slump, inspired by Wayne White (4-66), meant the innings subsided from 428 for three to 459 all-out but Kent had still taken control.

At 123 for one in reply, the Foxes looked comfortable until spinner James Tredwell and Matt Coles took up the initiative. The former had dangerman Will Jefferson stumped on 77 while the latter took out England prodigy James Taylor (49), as the duo took five wickets each to restrict the visitors to 251 all-out. The haul was a championship first for Coles as he impressed extracting life from a benign pitch.

Following-on, facing a 208 run deficit, Leicestershire battled hard in their second innings to set Kent a tricky victory target. Taylor again showed international class with 96 and White (71) highlighted his all-round talents but they were pegged back all the way as Robert Joseph, now playing for this week’s opponents, returned 4-74 to contain the Foxes to 362.

Despite losing Key for one, Kent looked to be heading to victory at a canter with Denly and Northeast (62) continuing their fine first innings form with a second-wicket stand of 135. However, with the finishing line in sight, the home side wobbled as Claude Henderson took four quick wickets and it was left for Martin van Jaarsveld to seal the win with a boundary.

In West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan, Leicestershire have the highest run-scorer in division two so far this season. The right-hander has posted 554 runs, at an average of 55.40 to top the batting charts. Brendan Nash, his fellow countryman, tops the Kent averages after making a fine start to his county career. The 34 year-old has scored 295 runs at 59 to prove what a shrewd acquisition he has been.

Josh Cobb (382 runs at 42.44) has also impressed for the Foxes with the 21 year-old developing as a four-day batsman of great maturity. Captain Key is also in fine form for Kent averaging 56.80 from five championship outings this term.

All-rounder Matt Coles continues his role as Kent’s strike bowler. The paceman’s 22 wickets have led to England Lions recognition and he will be looking to add to his tally this week. Winter recruit Charlie Shreck has also impressed with the new ball, claiming 19 victims.

For the Foxes, fast bowler Robert Joseph, released by Kent over the winter, took 12 wickets on debut and has added another six since to top their bowling charts ahead of Wayne White, who has 16 scalps to his name. The form of Joseph has seen him secure a contract until the end of the season at Grace Road.

With both sides in need of the points, and fine weather forecast for Canterbury this week, an enthralling contest looks likely as Kent look to maintain their division two promotion charge.

Team news

Kent currently have no new injury problems to report and could name an unchanged side from the team that played out a draw with Northants last week. Azhar Mahmood has finished his stint in the IPL after his side, the Kings XI Punjab, failed to make the play-offs but the all-rounder is unlikely to come back into first-team contention just yet. Ash Shaw continues to make good progress, after undergoing shin surgery.

For Leicestershire, Joseph looks set to play against his former county and share the new-ball with captain Matthew Hoggard.

Photo: Sarah Ansell

Ground Information

The Simon Langton Girls' School Car Park is set to reopen for this match, having been closed recently due to persistant rain.On-off parking here is£8 unless you have a Simon Langton Parking Pass.

One off on-site parking atthe St Lawrence Groundis available for £15.

The Dover Road Park and Ride is also analternative.


Tickets for this match are available both online (click here) and at the gate. If you purchase tickets online before gates open (which is two hours before the scheduled start time) on each of the day's play, they will be cheaper than those purchased at the gate. Please see ticket prices below.
Adults: £10 in advance, £15 on the gate (Ground Only)
£15 in advance, £20 on the gate (Frank Woolley Stand)
Juniors (U 16): £5 in advance, £8 on the gate
Tickets can also be purchased from the Kent Cricket Shop.

Kent Cricket Retail Shop:

The Kent Cricket Shop will be open from 9am and has the new range of training kit available to purchase.

The 2012 Kent Cricket Annual is now in stock for you to buy, priced £10 for non-members. Members please go to the Kent Cricket Shop to collect your Annual (you may be guided to the Meeting Room in the Cowdrey Conference Centre to pick this up).

Food and Beverage:

The Cornwallis Room, located in the Cowdrey Conference Centre is open to both members and non-members, serving a range of food and drink from 9am. The Carvery will be served from 12pm, which is available on a first come first serve basis.

Jonesy's Kitchen, located on the ground floor of the Les Ames Boxes is also open from 9am, serving a range of hot and cold snacks throughout the day and hot meals during the lunch interval. To book a table please telehone Carol on 07887 974304 or email

A new cafe is now also open in the Pavilion stand selling a range of hot drinks and snacks.

Club Forum

The Club Forum takes place on Day Two of each home LV= County Championship match. This season Club Forums will take place in the Cornwallis Room at the St Lawrence Ground. This week’s Forum takes place approximately 20 minutes following close of play and will be led by Graham Johnson and Jimmy Adams. Members and Ticket Package Holders are welcome to attend.