Match Report: Kent vs. Warwickshire

Match Report: Kent vs. Warwickshire

Kent welcomed Warwickshire to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in the return of the LV= Insurance County Championship.

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Day Three Report:

Warwickshire have beaten Kent by an innings and 46 runs in their LV= Insurance County Championship game at Canterbury, bowling the hosts out for 332 on day three.

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Oliver Hannon-Dalby took four for 59 in the second innings and finished with eight for 115 in the match, as Warwickshire issued a warning to their title rivals with an overwhelming victory.

Harry Finch made 67 and Jack Leaning 64, but the hosts were left to rue a dismal first innings performance.

Kent began day three on 55 for one, still 323 behind Warwickshire’s first innings score of 549 for seven, with Joe Denly and Ben Compton not out on 29 and 17 respectively.

An early appeal for a catch off Compton’s shoulder drew a cry of: “Are you Australia in disguise?” from the Frank Woolley Stand and although he survived that one, he became the morning’s first victim in the 26th over, when he nicked Hannon-Dalby behind for 26.

Denly made 45 from 105 balls before he was removed by Hannon-Dalby, caught by Michael Burgess after the ball seemed to ricochet off his pads.

Finch and Leaning batted through till rain brought an early lunch at 12.52 pm. Play resumed at 2.15, with nine balls bowled before a second, briefer delay of 20 minutes, resulting in a cumulative loss of nine overs.

It was Kent’s biggest stand of the match and worth exactly a hundred, but it ended when Leaning fell into a trap. With three fielders crowding the bat on the leg side he tried repeating a shot he’d played in Yates’ previous over and this time the bowler had him caught by Jacob Bethell.

Jordan Cox lasted 17 balls before he tried to sweep Yates and was lbw for four, leaving Kent on 223 for five at tea.

Finch’s obdurate innings came to an end when Chris Rushworth bowled him off stump with the new ball and when Henry Brookes had Joey Evison caught behind for 37, the last of Kent’s defensive-minded batters had gone.

Grant Stewart decided to have some fun, whacking successive sixes off Rushworth including one that went into a third-tier balcony in the Old Dover Road flats and he hung around for 44 balls, putting on 64 with Hamid Qadri before he hit Hannon-Dalby to Glenn Maxwell at gully for 40.

Any realistic hopes Kent had of taking the game into a fourth day ended when Qadri went to the very next ball, lbw to Maxwell for 30 and the victory was confirmed when Arshdeep Singh drove Hannon-Dalby to Will Rhodes at mid on in the next over.

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Kent’s Matthew Walker said: “On a wicket like that 170 just isn’t going to cut it, unfortunately. You win the toss, it’s good toss to win, a nice wicket to bat on and unfortunately that performance left us with an enormous task.

“If you can bowl them for a similar score you’re in the game, but I think on that wicket we all knew what was going to happen. They set there stall out and showed us how to bat, it was as simple as that. When you’re facing a deficit of nearly 400 it’s a long way back and we tried our hardest in the field and probably didn’t bowl as well as we’d have liked, but this isn’t on the bowlers.

“There were some glimpses and it was really good to see Joe and Jack getting back to their best. Both of have been short of runs but I think Joe played beautifully and Jack, I think that’s as good as I’ve seen for a long time. Grant played nicely in both innings, Hamid did well and obviously there was Finchy at the end but if you’re going to make something really special happen you’re going to need to put a few ones in front of those 40s and 50s.”

Kent’s Harry Finch said: “It was a tough one to take. I think it’s pretty obvious we lost our game in the first innings. We were 70 for six or something which just wasn’t good enough.

“We bowled really well on a pretty docile pitch and then in the second innings we showed a bit of fight, but ideally one myself, Jack or Denners goes and gets a big hundred there and if that had happened you never know, but definitely the feeling in the dressing room is that the first innings has cost us.

“It was a case of trying to bat the day if you can and try and take it an hour at a time, but runs are really important. If you get past them you never know, but credit to them, they bowled really well and really straight and unintentionally we ended up scoring a lot slower than we’d planned to.

“I thought Rob Yates batted brilliantly for them and he showed in passages that he didn’t score very quickly and he absorbed pressure. He also showed that when you get to 70 you’ve got to turn those into big hundred and fifties.

“We’ve played well in the last few games and we played well against Surrey but it was a one in a hundred effort for them to chase down 500. The game at Northants was fantastic as well. We’ll take a lot of confidence from the last few days and put the first day behind us.”

Day Two Report:

A double-century from Rob Yates put Warwickshire in a commanding position after day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship game with Kent at Canterbury.

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The visitors declared their first innings on 549 for seven, a lead of 378, before reducing Kent to 55 for one at stumps.

Yates hit his highest first-class score of 228 not out from 421 balls, with 23 fours and a six, having batted for nearly nine hours. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell made 81 in his first championship appearance for four years and Henry Brookes was unbeaten on 52 as the visitors dominated throughout.

Chris Rushworth bowled Tawanda Muyeye early in Kent’s second innings and although Ben Compton and Joe Denly survived till the close, the hosts are 323 behind with two days remaining.

Warwickshire began the day on 155 for two and they’d nudged into a three-run lead when Sam Hain edged Arshdeep Singh and fell to a diving catch by Jordan Cox for 32.

Jacob Bethell immediately went on the attack, clubbing Hamid Qadri for a six that flew into the gardens on the Old Dover Road side of the ground. The ball was lost, somewhere in the vicinity of a dead pigeon it had apparently hit.

Kent’s hopes were looking nearly as lifeless when Jack Leaning briefly revived them with two wickets in five balls. Bethell was out for 31, caught by a back-pedalling Arshdeep at deep mid on for 31 and Ed Barnard went for a four-ball duck, narrowly surviving an lbw shout off the third ball he faced before getting caught behind.

This spasm of hope for the home side quickly subsided as Yates and Maxwell put on a stand of 124. The former reached three figures when he cut Arshdeep to third man and the lead was exactly a hundred at lunch.

Maxwell looked set for a hundred, but he was caught behind chasing a wide delivery from Matt Quinn, though with the lead already past the 200 mark there was little celebration either in the middle or on the boundary.

The most dramatic moment of the afternoon session came when Yates hit Qadri for a six that went so far over the bowler’s head that it ended up smashing a glass panel on the balcony of the Kent dressing room.

Yates cruised past his previous highest score of 141 with a straight-driven four off Grant Stewart and it was 442 for six at tea.

Michael Burgess was subsequently out for 42, caught off Quinn by Harry Finch at backward point but Yates survived a major scare when he was on 199, chipping a ball from Qadri just out of reach of three fielders, before he drove the next ball through the covers to pass 200.

The declaration came as soon as Brookes had creamed Leaning for six to reach his half-century, leaving Kent with 14 overs to survive under increasingly ashen skies.

Muyeye lasted just five balls before Rushworth sent his off stump flying and although Denly and Compton made it to the close on 29 and 17 respectively, Kent will need something approaching a miracle over the next two days to avoid defeat.

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Kent’s Jack Leaning said: “We’ve got two big days coming ahead. We’ll try and bat for as long as we can, hopefully we’ll go past them and see where we end up.

“Credit to them, they’ve just showed us how to bat on a good wicket. Ultimately we’ve put ourselves behind in the game by how we’ve batted on day one, not necessarily because of how we’ve bowled.

“If we’re being totally honest with ourselves we should have been doing that to them on a good wicket, but look we’ve found ourselves where we’ve seen a lot of runs scored on this ground in the last few weeks so it’s our turn to stand up as a batting unit and be counted.

On having Warwickshire 225-5: “It’s obviously one of those situations where you want to get a few more wickets. There was a bit of spin on offer there but credit to them again, they’ve played nicely. Yates played a wonderful innings and showed what a bit of patience and application can do.

“I can’t fault the bowlers’ efforts and workload. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked from them and that’s been the case all season.”

Day One Report:

Warwickshire took the advantage on the first day of their LV= Insurance County Championship with Kent at Canterbury, reaching 155 for two at stumps, a deficit of just 16.

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Earlier Oliver Hannon-Dalby took four for 56 as Kent were bowled out for 171, a score that would have been even lower had Grant Stewart not blasted 50 from 45 balls. The hosts last three wickets added 93, more than half their total.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, originally signed for the Vitality Blast, made a rare first class appearance and bowled five overs, taking nought for 17, having been awarded his Warwickshire cap in a short ceremony before the start.

Kent chose to bat in broad sunshine at The Spitfire Ground, but approached their innings as if they were still in T20 mode.

Their openers were diligent enough in seeing out the first ten overs but the loss of Ben Compton seemed to flick a switch, ushering in a spell of four wickets for 19 runs in the space of 4.5 overs. Chris Rushworth started the collapse when he found Compton’s edge and he was caught behind for nine.

Joe Denly lasted just just four balls before he was lbw to Henry Brookes for one and Harry Finch’s first red-ball appearance of the season was even shorter as he made a three-ball duck, Rushworth finding his bottom edge and Michael Burgess taking a sharp catch standing up to the stumps.

Jack Leaning had made a relatively untroubled seven, but when Muyeye nudged the ball to mid on he hared down the wicket and made it almost as far as the strikers’ end before realising his partner hadn’t moved, allowing Will Rhodes to walk in and break the wicket.

Jordan Cox nearly met the same fate and although he was spared by a misfield, he’d made just 15 before he’d pulled Hannon-Dalby to Alex Davies at square leg. A disastrous session for the hosts came to an end when the same bowler had Tawanda Muyeye lbw for 38.

If that decision was harsh, Muyeye was the only batter who could really claim he’d been unlucky. Joey Evison went for four in the second over after lunch, victim of a tumbling catch by Burgess after he’d nicked Hannon-Dalby and it was left to Stewart to play the Stokes role.

He smashed Hannon-Dalby for a six that sailed over cow corner and through the branches of the St. Lawrence lime tree and was joined by Matt Quinn for a stand of 40 that proved the highest of the innings.

Quinn’s frenetic 15-ball cameo yielded a six and three fours before Brookes had him caught by the sub fielder, his brother Ethan, for 25.

Arshdeep Singh hit his first ball for six, but he left the pyrotechnics to Stewart, who dumped Hannon-Dalby for successive sixes over cow corner before his luck ran out when the same bowler had him caught on the boundary.

It had been an entertaining hour, but it looked a low score and lower still as Warwickshire advanced to 69 without loss. The opening stand was broken when Alex Davies was lbw for 42, perhaps unluckily, to Evison for 42.

Hamid Qadri then had Will Rhodes caught behind for 25, but Yates was on 42 when Kent missed a difficult chance to run him out and he and Hain batted through the evening session.

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Kent’s Matt Walker said: “It wasn’t a great day and we’re up against it. It wasn’t a bad toss to win at all. It was a good toss to win, we just played very poorly. It’s extremely disappointing with the way this group has been batting, to play like that.

“We’ve probably gifted them the major percentage of our wickets today on what was a really docile wicket. I think you can look at Ben Compton getting a fairly decent ball, but most of the payers will be petty disappointed in the way they got out.

“We’ve only got ourselves to blame. To be bowled out for 40 overs on that wicket with the sun shining, we find ourselves in a pretty precarious position. The bottom line is we shouldn’t have been bowling today.

“We should certainly have been in a pretty decent position at the end of this but it hasn’t happened and we find ourselves right up against it.

“If it hadn’t been for Grant it would have been awful day. It was pretty dreadful but it would have been even worse. It gave us some sort of respectability but it was a bit of a mad dash at the end. 170 isn’t going to cut it on a wicket like that. Second time round we’ve got to have a hard think about how we go about it. There were too many soft dismissals and a stupid run out and we find ourselves in that position.”

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