Match Report: Kent 70+ vs. Australia 70+

Thursday 3rd August 2023


Tour Match

Match Report: Kent 70+ vs. Australia 70+

Fresh from a comfortable win against Surrey 70+ XI, the Australian 70+ Test players were keen to continue their warm up programme against Kent 70+ XI at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence as part of their  preparation for the impending three ODIs against England in the “Silver Ashes” Test.

Their keenness was even greater knowing that the  England 60+ side had already retained the “Grey Ashes” in their Test series.

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Both sides were particularly excited that Kent Cricket had invited them to play the game on the hallowed St Lawrence turf and, as Kent Captain, Keith Millen said: “It was even more special to be able to do so at this stage in our cricketing careers”.

The weather was always going to be an issue and when Aussie Captain on the day, Ian Petherick, won the toss he looked at the sky, he looked at the track and viewed the outfield and, with a smile said “we will bat”.

The Aussie openers Neville and Headlam showed their intent with some fine ground strokes and the Kent bowlers, Towe and Clark, found the slope and the wind took them a little time to find their line and length. But whilst wicket taking opportunities were few, the run rate was being contained with 250 looking to be a target score.

Being a warm up match, the Aussies retired players to max batting opportunities for players, with Petherick, Boyd and Bulger making it to the crease. Nevertheless, whilst the Aussie batters looked solid, boundaries were kept to a minimum and two wickets fell to fine glove work from wicket Keeper, Percival, who dismissed Headlam and Petherick from the bowling of Towe and Breed.

With rain stopping play at the Oval Test, the odds on rain in Canterbury increased and in the 36th over it arrived. Unfortunately it never left and to the disappointment of players and supporters, the Umpires had to declare the match abandoned with Australia on 180 off 38.4  overs.

In true cricketing tradition there was a post match dinner for players, family members and supporters, but the early finish allowed the players time to tour the ground and pavilion.

Of course there were speeches and an exchange of momentos and, in spite of a curtailed game, Player of the Match awards were presented to Australia’s Roger Boyd for his 34 off 28 balls and Kent’s, Bob Percival for his two victims.

In his thank you speech, Aussie Captain ‘Pethers’ said he was incredibly grateful to Kent Cricket for the opportunity to play on an iconic county ground, adding that he and his touring party were blown away by the cricket memorabilia and history on display in the pavilion and the ground.

By David Piper

The three ODI “Silver Ashes” fixtures, in which Kent’s Derek Towe and Chris Swadkin have been selected, are:

  • Sunday 6 August at Colchester & East Essex CC
  • Sunday 13 August at Wellington CC
  • Sunday 20  August at Maidenhead & Bray CC

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