Hampshire were the visitors to Canterbury to face Kent in the LV= Insurance County Championship at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.
Day Four Report:
Hampshire defeated Kent by an innings and 51 runs in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, after dismissing the hosts for 296 in their second innings on Day Four.
Kyle Abbott took five for 29, mopping up Kent’s tail with three wickets from four balls, while Felix Organ span his way to three for 63 as the visitors secured a maximum 24 points, while Kent managed four.
Ben Compton and Jordan Cox had given Kent hope of a draw after batting through the morning session on day four, but they were out for 89 and 64 respectively after Lunch.
Home hopes of avoiding defeat seemed to hinge largely on the County Championship’s leading run scorer Compton, who’d come within maybe 40 minutes of getting them out of a far tighter situation against Lancashire the previous Sunday.
He’d scored 37 of the hosts’ overnight tally of 78 for three, but they were still 269 behind when play resumed. Abbas found his edge when he was on 49, but the chance didn’t carry and he took a single from the next ball to reach his half-century.
Cox, on three overnight, played and missed at Barker when on 13 and a googly from Mason Crane somehow eluded his stumps and went for four byes, but otherwise he offered few chances and at Lunch Kent were 161 for three, with the visiting bowlers getting increasingly frustrated.
Keith Barker broke through 15 minutes into the afternoon session when Compton was given out caught behind to a leg side delivery. Ollie Robinson was out for nine in the next over. The skipper hit Organ for boundaries off the first two balls but edged the third to Ben Brown.
By now Organ was extracting some serious turn, but Darren Stevens brought up 200 for Kent when he swiped him for six and Cox hit Abbas through cow corner to pass fifty for the second time in the match.
Stevens should have been out when he hit a rank full toss from Mason Crane straight to Liam Dawson, but the fielder spilled the catch.
The game’s most controversial moment came when Cox was given out, caught at short leg by Joe Weatherley off Organ, to a ball that replays showed had initially hit him halfway up the thigh. Mohammad Abbas then accounted for Matt Milnes, who misjudged a pull shot and was caught by Weatherley for 13.
Hamid Qadri joined Stevens and survived until Tea, at which point Kent were 287 for seven, but he fell to the third ball after the restart, edging Abbott behind for 11. Abbott’s next ball removed Nathan Gilchrist for a golden duck, caught by Weatherley at short leg.
Jackson Bird hit Abbott’s hat-trick ball for four but he was LBW to the next delivery, leaving Stevens unbeaten on 41 as Hampshire celebrated victory.
Kent batting coach Ryan ten Doeschate said: “Hampshire are a strong bowling unit and I think we missed some key moments in the game, particularly being 233-3 on that first day.
“We needed to finish the day stronger than that, but then again I think we showed great fight today. I thought the two guys who got stuck in and got runs were very unlucky to have their innings ended in both instances.
“We’re certainly not in a bad place, I’ve looked at the metrics and we’ve batted 600 overs in the first three games which isn’t the recipe for losing two and drawing one, so I think there are a lot of positives to take.
“The form of Ben Compton is very good and generally I’m very happy with the way the batters are going, but there’s definitely a bit of work to be done on both aspects of the game.
“When you’re spending double the amount of time at the crease than the other team, you are going to get a few more bad decisions. It’s very frustrating, particularly for Ben, who’s been monumental at the start of this season, to have two innings ended in that fashion, but we don’t want to focus on the decisions. He’s batted tremendously well and over time you are going to get decisions that go against you and you are just going to have to suck them up.”
Day Three Report:
Hampshire are in sight of victory over Kent in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, having reduced the hosts to 78 for three at stumps on day three, still needing another 269 to avoid defeat.
Hampshire declared on 652 for six at Tea, a lead of 347, on a day when the home side laboured throughout.
Liam Dawson hit his highest first class score of 171, from 268 balls with three sixes and 20 fours, while Ben Brown hit 157 from 198 balls with 15 fours, as the duo put on Hampshire record partnership of 273 for the fifth wicket.
Kyle Abbott took two for nine in Kent’s second innings, removing both Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond in the space of four balls, while Felix Organ, who has one for seven bowled Tawanda Muyeye, leaving Kent hoping for some last day heroics from Ben Compton, who was unbeaten on 37 at stumps. Jordan Cox is the other not out batsman on three.
Hampshire had resumed on 337 for four and although Kent were able to take the new ball they began day three as they’d finished day two, bowling a buffet delivery every time it looked like they might build some pressure: after a maiden from Matt Milnes, Dawson took 13 from Nathan Gilchrist’s next over.
Brown carved Milnes for four to reach 50 and Dawson straight drove the same bowler to reach three figures before the first hour was up. Hampshire were 337 for four at lunch, already 152 ahead.
Records were duly ticked off after Lunch, with an almost casual ease. Brown reached his century with a glanced three off Qadri. Dawson brought up his 150 cutting the same bowler to point for four and then beat his previous highest first-class score of 169 when he paddled Darren Stevens to the fine leg boundary.
He finally holed out to Tawanda Muyeye and was caught by Jordan Cox and Muyeye then claimed a second wicket when Brown tried to reverse sweep him and he was caught by Gilchrist, but there was no relief for the hosts. Felix Organ and Keith Barker scored freely, both reaching 44 not out at tea.
Crawley and Compton batted well for the first hour of the evening session, but after 15 overs of resistance when they offered hardly any chances, Abbott got Crawley LBW for 29 and Bell-Drummond without scoring when he swished him to Organ at mid-off.
Muyeye was then bowled by Organ for three and although Compton and Cox survived to stumps, Hampshire remain heavy favourites going into to Day Four.
Kent’s Simon Cook said: “It was a tough day if you look at the scoreboard. It’s a decent wicket and we had a discussion in the dressing room yesterday about how to go about bowling on these sorts of pitches. These are pitches that are a bit unusual for here, traditionally they’ve gone around a little bit and it does take a different way and a different style of bowling. It’s something we’ve got to adapt to very quickly.
“Where we want to get to, as a ground, is to produce better cricket wickets and on the way to that we’re going to come across some pitches like this. It’s about learning how to bat on them and learning how to bowl on them, how to contain a run rate, how to contain a side.
“When you get into an innings like that you find it very difficult to contain a run rate. The day extends out, it becomes very difficult to bowl and morale drops because you don’t feel you’re ever in the game.”
Day Two Report:
A blistering century from James Vince put Hampshire on top in their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury.
Hampshire were 337 for four at stumps on day two after Vince made 111 from 117 balls, including 19 fours. Nick Gubbins was the next highest scorer with 69, while Liam Dawson is unbeaten on 63.
Kent’s Nathan Gilchrist took three for 71, but Kent were bowled out earlier in the day for 305, Keith Barker claiming six for 52 and Mohammad Abbas three for 57.
Conditions were cloudy and windy when Kent resumed on 271 for seven, and Barker completed his five-wicket haul when he had Darren Stevens caught behind for 23.
Gilchrist lasted six balls before falling in identical fashion in Barker’s next over, without scoring, and Jackson Bird was caught off Abbas by sub fielder James Fuller for two, but not before Hamid Qadri had made 23 not out, adding 21 useful runs to his overnight score.
Kent’s hopes that 305 might prove a tricky total eroded steadily through the rest of the day. Hampshire moved to 47 for one at lunch, losing only Joe Weatherley, who’d pulled Matt Milnes for a six, but was then caught behind for 18 when the same bowler found his inside edge.
Despite losing Ian Holland lbw to Nathan Gilchrist for 25, Hampshire dominated the afternoon session, Vince beating Gubbins in the race to 50 when he nudged Hamid Qadri for a single in the 36th over. With Kent unable to stem the tide of boundaries, Gubbins passed the same landmark in the next over when he drove Milnes for four, but he was out when he edged Gilchrist to Jordan Cox, who took a tricky catch at slip, ending a stand of 136.
The visitors scored 172 runs in the session and continued their onslaught after tea. Dawson pulled the second ball of the evening session, off Bird for six. Vince clipped Stevens for a single to bring up his century, off 99 balls and although he eventually edged Gilchrist to Cox, Dawson kept up the scoring rate. He drove Milnes for two to reach his half-century and Ben Brown hit Stevens for four through the covers to give Hampshire the lead with the first ball of the 72nd over.
Brown looked equally comfortable and had reached 42 not out when play was abandoned for bad light, with three scheduled overs remaining and Gilchrist poised to take the new ball.
Kent’s Head Coach, Matt Walker said: “We started OK, bowled quite well for the first ten overs or so and threatened nicely, then the wheels sort of came off in that second session. 172 runs and 30 odd boundaries is well below our standard. They know that. We just couldn’t get our lengths right and couldn’t get our lines right. We just didn’t really have an answer.
“Barker and Abbas just stayed in the channel and that was our plan, we just didn’t get it right. Certainly in that middle session we didn’t create any pressure at all, there were too many leak balls. From 230 for three to be 305 all out is another frustrating collapse. It’s deja vu from last year really.
“We get ourselves in a pretty good position, somebody plays pretty well and a partnership forms, we look in control and all of a sudden we have a session when we disintegrate. We were aiming for 400 plus at one stage, so to just scrape past 300 we knew we were probably going to be short.”
Day One Report:
A Daniel Bell-Drummond century helped Kent to 271 for seven against Hampshire, after a fluctuating first day in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury.
Bell-Drummond hit 149 from 231 balls, with 25 fours and a six, as he put on 126 for the fourth wicket with Kent’s next highest scorer Jordan Cox, who made 51.
The hosts were on top for the first two sessions, but Hampshire used the new ball to bowl themselves back into contention, Keith Barker ending the day with four for 36 and Mohammad Abbas taking two for 57.
Abbas struck in the seventh over, getting Zak Crawley caught behind for seven after Kent had won the toss and chosen to bat, in sunny but blustery conditions at The Spitfire Ground.
Bell-Drummond, who’d struggled in his three previous innings this season, came in at three and brought up his fifty just before Lunch, stylishly cutting Mason Crane to the deep-backward point boundary. He cracked two further fours in the same over, leaving Kent on 97 for one at the end of the morning session.
Ben Compton was out shortly after the resumption, for under three figures for the first time this season, when Barker pinged back his off stump for 27, ending a stand of 98.
Barker then removed Tawanda Muyeye for one, strangling him down the leg side where he was caught by Ben Brown.
The scoring rate slowed to a crawl for the next hour, but when Crane returned Bell-Drummond cashed in, hitting him for successive fours to bring up his hundred, the first a cut to third man, the second a drive through mid-on.
Kent were 177 for three at tea and Bell-Drummond ramped up the pressure early in the evening session, smashing Felix Organ for six over long on. Cox, perhaps mindful of his seven-ball dismissal in the loss to Lancashire, was less hurried, scoring at around half Bell-Drummond’s rate.
When Kyle Abbott finally trapped Bell-Drummond LBW in the 85th over, the momentum shifted. Although Cox reached 50 driving Abbas through long off for four, Barker then had Ollie Robinson caught behind for seven and Cox was caught behind off Abbas.
Barker subsequently removed Matt Milnes for four, caught by Liam Dawson at second slip, leaving Darren Stevens, who was unbeaten on 13 and Hamid Qadri (two not out) to bat out the final two overs.
Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond said: “I’m very happy, I was just trying to be positive out there and play my natural game and I’m glad it came off today. I felt good so hopefully I’ll keep the form going and keep going from strength to strength.
“I think that’s the beauty of our batting order. People can drop anchor and play shots, myself I can play a bit more defensively. We’ve seen how attacking Cox can be so I think it’s just recognising the situation and how you’re feeling there and then. Compton’s been brilliant, he’s had an outstanding start to he season and he’s great to bat with as well. With that left, right-hand combination you always get a few more bad balls.
“It went through periods, sometimes I thought it was quite flat, sometimes they had quite skilful bowlers who were able to extract something from it. I’m not too sure what a good score is.
“Our feelings are pretty mixed to be honest, we worked hard out there but they bowled well with the second new ball so the game’s still in the balance to be honest. We’d have liked to have gone in three, four or five down at the end of the day, but we’re still pretty content.”