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Match Report: Kent vs. Lancashire

Kent took on Lancashire in the Vitality County Championship

Kent took on Lancashire in the Vitality County Championship at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence – part of the 172nd Canterbury Cricket Week.

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Day Four Report

Lancashire have beaten Kent by an innings and 83 runs in their Vitality County Championship showdown at Canterbury.

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The visitors bowled Kent out for 222 in their second innings, Will Williams taking three for 26 and Tom Bailey three for 36.

Charlie Stobo hit his highest first-class score of 64 but the hosts were all out after 30.2 overs on day four.

The result, against the only side who were below them in Division One before this round of fixtures, drastically increases Lancashire’s chances of avoiding the drop, while Kent remain anchored to the foot of the table.

It was an outcome that had looked almost inevitable ever since Kent lost a cluster of wickets midway through day one. The hosts were a shadow of the side who won convincingly at Old Trafford earlier this season, with six of the players who pulled off what remains their only red ball win of the season injured or unavailable.

They resumed on 143 for six and with a deficit of 162 not many observers were expecting them to take the game deep into the fourth day.

Beyers Swanepoel, batting with Tawanda Muyeye as his runner, was the first man to fall, cutting Tom Bailey to Jack Blatherwick for 26 in the fourth over of the morning, but Stobo and Matt Parkinson responded with an obdurate stand that took out 18.3 overs.

The sparse crowd meant the on-field chatter was amplified, especially, it seemed, when George Balderson bowled. During one over Lancashire’s fielders shouted: “Go on Baldie!” or variations thereof, a staggering 37 times, including 10 after a single delivery. No other bowler received this level of encouragement: Nathan Lyon’s next over was greeted with near silence.

The partnership broke when Parkinson, who’d joked on Tuesday night that he planned to block for 96 overs, abandoned his previous discipline. He tried an ill-advised pull shot against Lyon and although that was spilled by Bailey at backward square leg, he was out to the next ball he faced.

Stobo brought up his second first-class fifty in the next over when he drove Luke Wells for four, but after taking a single Parkinson was left with the strike and Wells pinned him lbw for seven.

Wells then had George Garrett caught at first slip by Keaton Jennings at first slip for five and the victory was sealed when Williams used the new ball to send Stobo’s off stump cartwheeling.

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Day Three Report

Lancashire have victory in their sights in their Vitality County Championship with Kent at Canterbury, having reduced the hosts to 143 for six at stumps on day three.

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Kent still trail by 162 with four second innings wickets remaining, Charlie Stobo and Beyers Swanepoel the not out batters on 25 and 18 respectively.

Lancashire declared on 549 for nine, a lead of 305, with Josh Bohannon making 205 and Matty Hurst 50, while George Garrett took three for 89.

Will Williams and Tom Bailey then both took two wickets apiece to leave Kent six down at stumps. Ben Compton was their highest scorer with just 37 and the chances of them escaping with anything other than a heavy defeat to their relegation rivals are bleak.

The only question at the start of day three was how long Lancashire were going to bat for, with a lead of 158 already in the bank, although for a side who’d been pummelled for four straight sessions Kent at least managed to stop Lancashire from scoring too freely.

Bohannon reached his double-hundred with a pushed single off Matt Parkinson, before his former team mate finally got him out lbw with a ball that might have been going down the leg side.

Matty Hurst eased to fifty with a single off Joey Evison but he was then stumped by Harry Finch when he tried to charge at Parkinson.

It was 499 for six at lunch. Garrett took all three of his wickets after the interval, which at least prevented an onslaught. Jack Blatherwick tried to hit him out of the ground and went for 18, caught by sub fielder Jaydn Denly.

Garrett then had George Balderson caught behind for 42 and when Bailey skied him to Parkinson, Lancashire declared.

They didn’t have to wait long for a wicket: Williams had Marcus O’Riordan caught at first slip by George Bell for four in the fourth over.

Nathan Lyon came on after 12 overs but it was George Balderson who struck next, pinning Daniel Bell-Drummond lbw for nine to leave Kent on 59 for two at tea.

Compton always looked like being the key wicket but he inexplicably tried to slog Bailey and the ball flew in the air off his bottom edge. He spread his arms wide in despair well before Bell took the catch when the ball finally fell to earth.

Williams sent Joey Evison’s off stump flying for 10, Bailey had Tawanda Muyeye caught behind for a six-ball duck and Finch lasted for 56 balls for 23 until Lyon had him caught by Bohannon at mid-on.

Swanepoel, who’d been unable to bowl, came out with O’Riordan as a runner and caused confusion by running anyway, but he and Charlie Stobo at least managed to drop anchor for the final 11.4 overs to take the game to a final day.

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Entry to tomorrow’s play will be free to all, and existing Day Four ticket holders will be contacted shortly and their tickets refunded.

Ben Compton said: “The scores speak for themselves to be honest. I don’t think there’s any denying we’ve been completely outskilled in this match and probably the other matches to. Whether it’s following on from the white ball matches and it’s kind of seeped into here but actually we’ve not quite executed our kills well enough.

“I know that’s a cliché but at the end of the day that’s what’s happening. We’ve been on the receiving end of an excellent blueprint on how to play four-day cricket. You make the most of the bowling conditions on the first day, get us out for a score that was probably a hundred shy at least and then there were three glori0us days of sunshine and they made us toil.

“We spent a lot of time in the field, were unable to get them out and all those sorts of things add difficulty to batting. Following on there’s pressure, they’ve got their tails up, you’re a bit tired, you know these things happen and unfortunately we’ve just been completely outskilled. There’s no lack of effort, just in terms of what we’re delivering it isn’t quite good enough to be honest. We’ve got to try and see what we can salvage tomorrow. Everyone’s maintaining the highest levels of professionalism, we’re trying our very best but it boils down to the skill factor at the end of the day.”

Day Two Report

Over 3,400 people, 1,600 of whom were schoolchildren from around Kent at the Club’s annual Countrystyle Recycling Schools’ Day Out, witnessed Day Two of the red-ball portion of the 172nd Canterbury Cricket Week at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

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Josh Bohannon and Luke Wells put on a record stand of 312 for Lancashire as they put the pressure on the hosts.

Bohannon was unbeaten on 182 while Wells hit exactly 150 as the visitors closed on 402 for four, a first-innings lead of 158.

Lancashire batted through two full sessions without losing a wicket before Kent finally took a mini-cluster after tea. Beyers Swanepoel had their best figures with two for 61.

The crowd for the second day of the Canterbury Festival was swelled to 3,414 by around 1,600 school children from 44 schools, attending as part of a county initiative.

They all witnessed a horrorshow first session, with Wells and Bohannon battering a callow bowling attack.

Lancashire resumed on 38 for one and the closest Kent came to a wicket was when Wells lofted O’Riordan to mid-off and Jas Singh couldn’t reel him in.

It was 168 for one at lunch, after which the batters enjoyed a race to three figures, which Bohannon won when he cut George Garrett for four through backward point.

Wells reached the landmark in less satisfying fashion, swishing Parkinson through the vacant slip cordon for two.

Wells then swept his way to 150, steering Parkinson for two, but he finally fell in the 84th over, caught off Marcus O’Riordan at first slip by Charlie Stobo.

Stobo got his maiden Championship wicket when George Bell dragged a leg-side delivery on to his off-stump off the back of his bat, and having sat on a balcony for six hours, George Lavelle got a golden duck, edging Beyers Swanepoel to O’Riordan, who took a head-high catch at second slip.

This mini-collapsed stemmed the flow of runs, but Bohannon was dropped off the luckless Singh in the penultimate over and he and Matty Hurst batted through to leave Lancashire in a strong position at the end of day two.

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Day One Report

Lancashire were 38 for one, trailing Kent by 206, after day one of their Vitality County Championship showdown at Canterbury.

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Josh Bohannon and Luke Wells were unbeaten on 22 and 14 respectively at stumps, after Beyers Swanepoel had bowled Keaton Jennings for a duck.

Earlier George Balderson and Nathan Lyon took three wickets apiece for second-from-bottom Lancashire, as they bowled out the division’s basement side for 244.

Tawanda Muyeye was Kent’s highest scorer with 59, while Ben Compton made 55.

Although both sides have struggled all season, the crowd for the first day of the 172nd Canterbury week was estimated at over 2,000. Cars were queueing for half a mile down the Old Dover Road and moving so slowly that they were overtaken by hundreds of pedestrians walking up the hill.

If they’d come to see James Anderson they were disappointed. Despite making the trip south he was left out of the squad and, perhaps unable to believe his luck at having been asked to bat against an Anderson-free attack, Compton plundered 11 from Tom Bailey’s opening over.

The scoring rate soon slowed however. Will Williams found Marcus O’Riordan’s edge in the fourth over and although George Bell dropped him, he’d moved on to just 16 when Balderson had him caught at third slip by George Lavelle.

Bailey switched to the Nackington Road end and got Daniel Bell-Drummond for four but Joey Evison joined Compton and batted through to lunch, at which stage it was 102 for two.

It wasn’t a standard interval: the crowd realised Anderson was bowling at one stump on the outfield and around a hundred fans formed a circle to watch. When he’d finished it took him nearly five minutes to reach the pavilion as he stopped for dozens of selfies.

When the outfield had finally cleared Kent suffered a wobble. Evison went for 25, edging Bailey to Matty Hurst, before Balderson claimed two wickets in the space of 10 balls. Harry Finch drove him to Josh Bohannon at mid-off for one and Compton fell to an ankle-high catch by Keaton Jennings at second slip.

That left Kent on 124 for five and it nearly got worse for the hosts as Muyeye was on 23 when he pulled Nathan Lyon to the mid-wicket boundary, only to be dropped by Jack Blatherwick.

Having dropped into the middle order after struggling as an opener, Muyeye responded with his first half-century of the season.

Debutant Charlie Stobo joined him and made an inventive 36 before he was bowled by Nathan Lyon, ending a stand of 82 and leaving Kent on 210 for six at tea.

Swanepoel made 19 before he top-edged Lyon behind and Matt Parkinson went for a nine-ball duck against his former county, lbw to Luke Wells.

Lyon then bowled George Garrett middle-stump for three and although Muyeye was dropped again, this time off Lyon by a sliding Williams, he was lbw to Wells in the next over, denying Kent a single batting point and leaving Lancs to face 14 overs before stumps.

Swanepoel sent Keaton Jennings’ off stump flying for an eight-ball duck but he was the only victim, with Wells just surviving a dicey penultimate over from Stobo.

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Kent’s Tawanda Muyeye said: “I think we obviously left a lot of runs out there. It wasn’t easy for the guys starting this morning, but everyone’s pretty upbeat, the pitch is doing bits so hopefully we can utilise that new ball in the morning and everyone can get some rest tonight and go again tomorrow morning.

“I think it was a nice pitch to play on, I think as a batter you got value for your runs and as a bowler you got value for bowling well. It’s a pretty good cricket wicket so hopefully as the game unfolds it’ll become interesting.

“You always look back and think what could have been but I think we just have to take it on the chin and crack on. Hopefully when we go back in in the second innings we can make it count. It’s been pretty tough going (this season) so to go out there and face one of the best spinners in the world, I mean I wouldn’t say I was perfect against him but to just go against my natural game and absorb the pressure, I couldn’t really go out there and play shots so I was just happy to just absorb and it was pretty cool facing Nathan Lyon.

“Last week in the nets I started hitting it pretty well I’ve kind of gone back to my old tekkers, going back to what I know and what I trust. It seems like I’m moving a bit better and hopefully I’ll get back to where I need to be.”

An unmissable evening of cricket is coming to Canterbury this Summer, and tickets are selling fast to see England’s heroes take on the White Ferns of New Zealand in Canterbury, just an hour’s journey from the capital.

It is only the second time that Canterbury has hosted a Women’s International T20 match in its long history, and will be another boost for the continued growth of women’s cricket in Kent.

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England Women vs. New Zealand at The Spitfire Ground in July is not included in 2024 Memberships or Six Pack ticket bundles. Members, Six Pack & Six Pack Plus holders should purchase tickets from the Club website.

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