Match Report: Kent vs. Surrey

Match Report: Kent vs. Surrey

Kent faced Surrey in the Vitality County Championship at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury.

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Day Four Report:

Four of Kent’s bottom-order recorded first-class best scores across the match but that wasn’t enough for Kent as they succumbed to reigning County Champions Surrey at The Spitfire Ground.

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The visitors dismissed the hosts for 262 in their second innings, with Dan Worrall taking four for 31 and Cameron Steel, claiming three for 38. Steel remains the leading wicket taker in the country this season, with 20 after three matches.

Joey Evison made 53 and Matt Parkinson hit his highest first-class score of 39, but after a dogged rearguard action that saw them through the morning session, Kent subsided midway through the afternoon.

The hosts were 120 for five overnight, still 179 runs in arrears, and their slim hopes of batting out the day were dealt a near fatal blow when Ben Compton was out in the fifth over of the morning. Compton, unbeaten on eight overnight, chased a Worrall delivery that veered away and was caught behind.

The home crowd, however, were pleasantly surprised by the way Evison and Parkinson survived the rest of the morning. Parkinson, promoted up the order to number eight, had spent the winter working on his batting as part of a concerted effort to shore up Kent’s lower order and although there were a few alarms by lunch Kent had reached 203 for six at lunch and the impossible now seemed merely improbable.

Evison, however, fell to Tom Lawes in the afternoon’s third over. He cut Lawes for fours off successive boundaries to reach his half-century but then edged him behind.

With Evison gone, Kent’s resistance faultered. George Garrett was lbw to Steel for four and Jas Singh went for a duck when Jamie Smith took a brilliant catch at short leg off the same bowler.

Number 11 Arafat Bhuiyan had some fun with the new ball, flicking three consecutive balls from Kemar Roach for a six and two fours on his way to his highest championship score of 22 not out, making him the fourth Kent tail-ender to reach that personal landmark in this match, after Garrett and Singh hit their career-best scores in the first innings.

Victory for the visitors was sealed when Smith took another exceptional close catch to snare Parkinson off Kemar Roach.

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Day Three Report:

Matt Parkinson recorded his first five-wicket haul at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, as Surrey build pressure against Kent in the Vitality County Championship at Canterbury, after reducing the hosts to 120 for five in their second innings, a deficit of 179.

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Dan Worrall took three for 18 as last season’s title winners broke through Kent’s top order after declaring on 543 for seven.

Surrey hit out during the afternoon session, to take a first innings lead of 299, Dom Sibley making 150, Dan Lawrence 112 and Jamie Smith 58.

Ben Compton and Joey Evison were not out on eight and seven respectively at stumps.

For a third successive day this game was played out in a bone-chilling northerly wind. Sibley glanced Jas Singh for four through square leg to reach three figures and Dan Lawrence tickled the same bowler for a single to reach his 50.

Sibley then flicked Evison for four to put Surrey into the lead and Lawrence drove Jack Leaning through the covers to bring up his century.

Kent opted not to take the new ball after 80 overs and Matt Parkinson vindicated the decision when he bowled Lawrence with the very next delivery.

The afternoon session was significantly livelier. Sibley had just reached his 150 when he was given out caught and bowled by Parkinson after the umpires checked the ball had carried.

Ben Foakes then made a rapid 24 from 20 balls but he was caught behind slashing at George Garrett.

Smith responded with a six off Parkinson that flew on to the upper balcony of the Cowdrey stand and he reached 50 when he swept the next delivery for a single, but he fell in Parkinson’s next over, the 99th, caught at long on by Arafat Bhuiyan.

Parkinson got his fourth wicket when Ryan Patel drove him to Garrett at midwicket for 30 and despite the grim match situation he till let out a scream of delight when Jordan Clark hit him to Joe Denly at the midwicket boundary, giving him his first five-wicket haul for Kent.

Surrey declared at tea and with Ben Compton off the field due to a sore neck, Harry Finch opened the batting alongside Zak Crawley.

The England opener contributed four before he edged Worrall behind to become Foakes’ 300th first class victim for Surrey.

Worrall then bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond for 10 and Finch went for an entertaining but brief 24 when he was lbw to Jordan Clark.

Joe Denly made 38 but then prodded Cameron Steel to Smith at mid-wicket, before Worrall had Jack Leaning caught at slip by Sibley for 24.

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Kent’s Matt Parkinson said: “Obviously Surrey are a great side. It all stemmed from day one really, we probably could have posted ore than 240, but that said I thought the lads bowled all right. I thought we stuck at it quite well, it’s obviously a flat pitch and we had a few injures as well so to have a fairly young seam attack I thought the boys tried hard. It was a tough day, yeah.

“I wouldn’t say it was nice (to get his first five wicket haul for Kent) after today. It was more bittersweet. I think it’s been coming out nice all season, it’s just we’ve never been in a position to push the game forward in the first three games. We’ve been on the back foot so it was nice to get five wickets but it was a tough day as well.

“The opening bowlers for Surrey, Worrall and Roach are class aren’t they? They probably showed our young lads how to bowl on there really. They bowled well and when you’re trailing by 300 and you’ve got a sticky 20 over session it’s never fun.”

(On settling in Kent) “I’m loving but it’s cold isn’t it? I was promised warm weather when I signed the contract, I may have to speak to Paul (Downton) about that but it’s a fantastic group. It’s very different to Lancashire and I’ve loved it. I fell valued, I fell my opinions are valued.

“It is a (young group). That was one of the pulls to come here. I felt Lancashire was an old group I guess and you never quite felt that your voice is heard as much. Obviously here it’s a very young squad and even some of the boys that are older haven’t played a great deal so I guess it’s up to myself and Deebs, Jack Leaning, Joe Denly and Zak when he’s around to help the young lads.”

Day Two Report:

Dom Sibley hit an unbeaten 87 as Surrey batted for the first time against Kent on day two of their Vitality County Championship derby at Canterbury, reaching 185 for one at stumps in reply to Kent’s 244 all out.

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Cameron Steel and Tom Lawes both took three wickets apiece as Surrey limited Kent to 244 and although night-watcher George Garrett outshone his batting partners with a career-best 48, before Sibley and Rory Burns put on 147 for the opening wicket of Surrey’s reply.

Garrett eventually got Burns for 69, but Sibley and Dan Lawrence batted through to stumps, at which point Surrey were just 59 behind.

It was so cold at The Spitfire Ground that even the ‘Nackington Road Grumblers’ abandoned their usual seats and took refuge in the more sheltered Cowdrey Stand.

Kent were 111 for three overnight and Kemar Roach had Jack Leaning lbw to the third delivery of the morning, removing him for 30.

Garrett pulled Lawes for successive fours as he overtook his previous highest first-class score of 24.

Joe Denly was bowled for 32 when he attacked a wide one from Steel and played on and Harry Finch hit two impressive boundaries as he steered Kent to 192 for five at lunch but he was caught for nine in the slips by Sibley off Jordan Clark soon after the resumption.

Garrett fell two short of his half-century when he edged Steel behind and Steel then had Matt Parkinson stumped by Ben Foakes for a duck. Kent’s last recognised batter went when Foakes then sprang to his right to catch Joey Evison off Lawes for 30.

Jas Singh also made his highest first-class score, when he was then lbw to Lawes for 15.

Burns flicked Matt Parkinson for a single to reach 50 and compared to last season, when he took 578 minutes to make 140 at this venue, Sibley reached his half-century from 86 balls with a single off Arafat.

Burns fell to Garrett when Zak Crawley took a smart slip catch during a protracted evening session.

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Day One Report:

Daniel Bell-Drummond hit an elegant 70 as Kent reached 113 for three on Day One of their Vitality County Championship match with Surrey at Canterbury.

Kent & Surrey players observe a minute’s silence in front of the Underwood & Knott Stand

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The in-form Kent skipper put on a stand of exactly 100 for the third wicket with Jack Leaning, who was 30 not out at stumps, after rain wiped out all but 11 balls of the first two sessions at the Spitfire Ground.

Dan Worrall took two for 33 to reduce Kent to eight for two in the sixth over, but Surrey went 30 overs without a wicket before Tom Lawes broke the partnership when he had Bell-Drummond lbw shortly before the close.

The Kent and England legend Derek Underwood, who passed away on Monday aged 78, was honoured before the start of play, with both sets of players standing in front of the Underwood & Knott stand for a minute’s silence. Black armbands were worn and a moment was also taken to remember Raman Subba Row of Surrey, who died on Wednesday at the age of 92.

It was a bitterly cold day for the die-hards at The Spitfire Ground, and the weather wiped out 57 overs before conditions finally improved, or at least got less damp, late in the afternoon.

The visitors, who had do without Jamie Overton due to a back injury, won the toss and chose to bowl, but the start had already been delayed until 1.25pm and they managed just 11 deliveries before bad light forced them off again, the wind at that point being too strong for the floodlights to be used.

When play eventually resumed at 4.15pm, Surrey struck early. Zak Crawley’s first Kent appearance of the season saw him make five before Worrall had him caught by Jamie Smith at third slip and in his next over he trapped Ben Compton lbw for three.

The partnership Kent urgently needed came when Jack Leaning joined Bell-Drummond and they batted the home side into calmer waters.

Bell-Drummond, who already has two centuries this season, punched Worrall for four through cover to bring up his 50, but he fell in the third last over of the day when he was trapped leg before by Lawes. Night-watcher George Garrett was unbeaten on one at stumps.

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Kent’s Jack Leaning said: “I think it was probably just our day to be honest. Certainly if we’d not lost Deebs (Daniel Bell-Drummond) towards the end we’d have been on top. With the pitch being under the covers, the rain and them winning the toss, to be 111 for three I think we’d have probably taken that.

“It was hard work. They’re a brilliant side and they’ve obviously got the Dukes back in their hands so there’s a bit more movement out there off the pitch and in the air, but me and Deebs have had some nice partnerships in the past so it was nice to have a century partnership.

“He’s class, isn’t he? He’s show it already this year, he’s taken to the captaincy and has a mentality where he leads from the front. He’s a great captain and the way he’s started the season has been brilliant for us.

“I’ve not had quite the start I wanted in the first couple of games so it was just nice to spend a bit of time in the middle and find that game rhythm again. I started to find that towards the end, and find my balance. Hopefully it’ll be there in the morning and we can get a nice big score.

(On resting Agar and Gilchrist) “They’re obviously quick bowlers and we need to look after their workload. Unfortunately that was the question mark for this morning. Do we play them for one extra game? They’ve both got a couple of little niggles so it was about time to give them a rest and hopefully they’ll be fit for Lancs in a couple of weeks.”

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