Match Report: Surrey vs. Kent

Match Report: Surrey vs. Kent

The original county cricket fixture reached its 285th edition in first-class matches as Kent travelled to London to face Surrey in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

The Oldest Rivalry turns T20 in June

Kent Spitfires welcome Surrey to ‘Fortress Canterbury’ for a Sunday afternoon T20 match in less than a month’s time!

Buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment & lock in supporting your Spitfires now in an exciting Summer of white-ball cricket:

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Members do not need to pre-book their space at T20 matches as per last season – entry will be gained by scanning a valid 2023 Kent Cricket Membership card at the gate.

The Frank Woolley Stand is already completely SOLD OUT for this fixture. An allocation has been set aside for Members & Six Pack Plus Ticket Holders.

Day Three Report:

Tom Lawes dismissed both Zak Crawley and Sam Billings in dramatic fashion early on day three, finishing with a career-best 5 for 22 to set up a crushing Surrey victory by ten wickets against outclassed Kent at the Kia Oval.

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Crawley fell for 34, adding three runs to his overnight score, and Billings bagged an agonizing pair as Kent slumped to 141 all out, leaving Surrey needing 58 to complete their fourth win in six LV= Insurance County Championship matches this season.

They got there at 58 without loss from 11.3 overs, ending the match just before the scheduled lunch interval, with Rory Burns reverse-slapping Jack Leaning’s off spin for six over third man in a run-a-ball 36 not out. Dom Sibley was unbeaten on 16, and the 22-point haul strengthens champions Surrey’s position on top of the Division One table.

All-rounder Lawes, still only 20, underlined his huge potential by adding the scalps of Billings, Crawley and Joey Evison to those of Tawanda Muyeye and Leaning late on day two after Kent had resumed on 80 for four.

Billings, who initially faced the final two balls of Lawes’ third over when play resumed – Leaning having been bowled by what was the last ball of day two – lasted six balls in all before edging a sharp lifter to keeper Ben Foakes.

Lawes, having struck in his first full over of the morning, then removed Crawley in his second full over.

His third scalp of the day, a pacy inswinging near-yorker plucking out Evison’s off stump on five left Kent 107 for seven.

Sean Abbott, replacing Dan Worrall at the Vauxhall End, then had Jordan Cox caught down the legside by Foakes for 15, fending off a short ball, and it was left to Jordan Clark to replace Lawes at the Pavilion End and apply the finishing touches to Kent’s defeat.

Clark’s fourth ball saw Grant Stewart (6) edge to Pope at second slip and last man Michael Hogan lost his off stump, playing a shot at Clark in the big seamer’s next over, to go for 2.

It gave Clark second innings figures of 3 for 36, and six wickets in the match, while Abbott took 2 for 17.

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Kent Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker said: “I think probably the last three overs last night when we lost three wickets was the big difference in this match. Up until then we were right in the game but to go from 78 for one, after Tawanda and Zak had batted really well, to 80 for four at the close of play was when things changed.

“It’s a very disappointing loss but Tom Lawes was outstanding with the ball this morning and it was a bit of a procession in the end. That’s very frustrating for us because it’s been a pattern of the season so far. We play well in patches but then have a period where we lose a few wickets quickly or bowl poorly for a spell.

“In this match we fought hard to get ourselves back in it with the bat in the first innings and got a reasonable total on the board, and then we had them 200 for seven and we were actually looking at perhaps getting a first innings lead. But Sean Abbott batted very well and Gus Atkinson came in to take it away from us and they ended up getting a bigger lead than we would have liked.

“But Tawanda and Zak were outstanding to get us back almost level last night, before those three late wickets. It all happened very quickly, last night and then this morning, and so it’s a tough defeat to take even though Surrey are obviously a very strong side, the champions and top of Division One again in this first part of this season.”

Day Two Report:

It was a day to remember for Arafat Bhuiyan, the Bangladesh-born seamer and UK passport holder who was last weekend playing in the Kent League for Blackheath but now claimed the wickets of Pope, Jamie Smith, Ben Foakes and Jacks in debut figures of 4 for 65.

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A late order assault led by Sean Abbott and Gus Atkinson was followed by Kent losing three wickets in the last three overs of the day as Surrey, who had totalled 362, took control of their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Kent at the Kia Oval.

Kent slid from 78 for one to 80 for four in their second innings at stumps, still four runs behind overall, as Tawanda Muyeye, nightwatchman Wes Agar and Jack Leaning were dismissed in a dramatic finish to the day.

A responsible 31 not out from Zak Crawley, featuring some lovely shots, was Kent’s only consolation after Muyeye skewed Tom Lawes to mid on, Agar was bowled for a duck by Abbott off an inside edge and Leaning bowled by Lawes for one.

Muyeye had uppercut an Atkinson short ball for six over third man in an entertaining if streaky 42, dominating a partnership of 58 with Crawley after Jordan Clark had removed Ben Compton for one in the sixth over, caught by an alert Ollie Pope at second slip when Will Jacks, at third, parried the ball up.

At 211 for seven earlier, Division One leaders Surrey were struggling for mid-game parity, but Abbott’s powerful 88-ball 78 and Atkinson’s blistering 55 not out from No 10, with three sixes and six fours, propelled them to an 84-run lead at the halfway point.

Fast bowling all-rounder Abbott came in at 180 for six and impressed with his clean hitting, striking a six and nine fours while Lawes also batted well for 20 in an eighth wicket stand of 53.

But it was Atkinson who provided the main fireworks, first helping Abbott to add a further 65 for the ninth wicket and then plundering three sixes in four balls off Michael Hogan’s fast-medium, in an over costing 24, to rush Surrey to a third batting bonus point and himself to a 42-ball half-century.

Atkinson’s first two sixes were swung over mid wicket, from down on one knee, and his third an extraordinary blow over extra cover. The 25-year-old finished the over by smashing Hogan for a one-bounce four wide of mid off.

Resuming on 88 for one, in reply to Kent’s first innings 278, Surrey initially found it difficult to shake off a hard-working Kent seam quintet in which 26-year-old Arafat produced the stand-out performance.

Brought on at the Vauxhall End, after the first ten overs of the day had brought just twenty runs and some careful reconnaissance from the second wicket pairing of Dom Sibley and Pope, Arafat first struck in his second over.

Pope became a distinguished maiden first-class scalp for Arafat. On 34, and having helped Sibley to add 84, he tried to whip a straight ball through mid-wicket but succeeded only in hitting it straight into the hands of Grant Stewart in the legside ring.

And Arafat soon had his second wicket, when Smith – having just picked him up effortlessly off his pads for six over deep square leg – edged a drive at a widish ball to second slip to go for eight.

Then, contentiously, Sibley fell for 60 on the stroke of lunch, edging an outswinger from Joey Evison and seeing Leaning dive to claim a low left-handed catch at second slip.

Sibley had looked secure throughout his 172-ball stay, so it was a setback for Surrey to lose him at 152 for four, just when they seemed to be taking control of the contest, and another double-strike by Arafat in the first hour after lunch then put Kent on top.

Foakes, trying to force, gave Leaning his third catch on 17 and Jacks, having hoisted Evison’s medium pace for a magnificent six over wide long on in a quickfire 24, spliced a pull at Arafat and looped up a simple catch to mid on.

Clark made only eight before nicking Evison to first slip but then came the counter-attack from Abbott, Lawes and Atkinson. In all, Surrey’s last three wickets added 151 in 25 overs – quite the response to the 160 put on by Kent’s own last three wickets in 32 overs on day one.

Lawes, taken at first slip, and Abbott, caught behind, both eventually fell to the bustling Agar, who ended with 3 for 76 when he bowled last man Dan Worrall for six.

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Kent’s Arafat Bhuiyan, who took 4 for 65 on his first-class debut, said: “To get Ollie Pope as my first wicket was obviously very nice and I am very pleased to finish with four. You always have to believe you are good enough to do well and that you are picked at this level for a reason.

“Surrey are a very strong team and we worked very hard as a bowling unit to bowl them out. We have to come back hard tomorrow morning with the bat and try to get as big a lead as possible.”

Day One Report:

A spirited and at times dashing last wicket partnership of 82 in 14 overs between Joey Evison and Michael Hogan boosted Kent to 278 all out after they had looked in danger of being swept aside by champions Surrey at the Kia Oval.

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Hogan then had Rory Burns leg-before for 14 as Surrey replied positively with 88 for one in 21 overs’ batting before stumps, with Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope unbeaten on 35 and 20 respectively.

Evison, the 21-year-old all-rounder signed from Nottinghamshire last summer with the enviable task of replacing Kent legend Darren Stevens, hit two sixes and nine fours in an eye-catching 77 not out from 106 balls.

But perhaps it was veteran seamer Hogan, almost twice Evison’s age and who turns 42 at the end of May, who most shocked Surrey’s five-pronged pace attack with nine fours of his own in a punchy and defiant 48-ball knock of 43.

In 258 previous first-class innings, and in his 191st appearance, career tailender Hogan has passed fifty on just four occasions, with a top score of 57.

But, appearing at 196 for nine after Wes Agar had previously helped Evison to rally Kent from a perilous 118 for seven – after being put in to bat on a well-grassed surface – former Glamorgan stalwart Hogan matched his young partner stroke for stroke to provide unexpected late resistance and even force the tea interval to be delayed by half-an-hour.

A good-sized Oval crowd gave Evison and Hogan a generous hand as the players walked off after a remarkable 41-over afternoon session featuring 173 runs and five wickets, but the last pair’s fun ended with the third legitimate ball after tea when Hogan, having just sliced Tom Lawes for his final four, edged to keeper Ben Foakes as he stepped away to try to carve a short ball through the offside.

Lawes, who took 3 for 41, had come into the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One leaders’ team, following last week’s win against Middlesex, as a pace bowling replacement for West Indies Test ace Kemar Roach, who was released from the scheduled final game of his third stint as a Surrey overseas player to attend to a family matter back at home in Barbados.

Hogan and Evison certainly put a dent in both Dan Worrall and Jordan Clark’s figures with Kent’s No 11 hitting some memorable straight and on drives and the impressive Evison lifting Worrall twice for legside sixes. Clark finished with 3 for 61 and Worrall 3 for 68.

Evison had earlier taken three fours in four balls off Australian seamer Sean Abbott, with a gorgeous straight drive and two dreamy clips off his pads, while Agar’s 31 was also a major factor in Kent’s recovery as conditions eased and the ball grew softer.

Surrey, though, will be miffed that they allowed Kent to reach a competitive first innings score – winning only their third batting bonus point of the season in the process – after Worrall, Clark, Lawes and Gus Atkinson had looked like carrying all before them in the first 41 overs of the day.

Worrall, switching to around the wicket, made the initial breakthrough by swinging one enough to clip the top of Ben Compton’s off stump when the left-hander, Kent’s leading run-scorer so far this summer, shouldered arms to go for four.

Zak Crawley got to 19 before being surprised by Clark’s bounce and edging to third slip, where Will Jacks took a sharp chest-high catch falling to his left, and Tawanda Muyeye had also started well and reached 22 when the pacy Atkinson found a thin edge through to Foakes with his sixth ball.

Kent were soon 80 for four, skipper Sam Billings driving loosely at Lawes to depart for a nine-ball duck, and they were in deep trouble when Jack Leaning’s 28 ended two balls after lunch – Jacks again catching well at third slip.

Clark soon claimed his third wicket when Jordan Cox was bowled through the gate for 18, and Worrall’s post-lunch spell brought him Grant Stewart’s scalp, leg-before for nine to a delivery that, for once, did not swing away from the right-hander.

Then, however, with growing assurance, Evison and Agar added 74 in 16 overs to frustrate Surrey and change the narrative of the day. Agar eventually chopped on against Lawes and debutant Arafat Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh-born fast bowler with a British passport who plays in the Kent League for Blackheath, made only two before edging Worrall to first slip to set up the Evison-Hogan hour.

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Arafat Bhuiyan, the 26-year old Kent seamer who is making his first-class debut, said: “It is an unreal feeling. I have worked hard for this for the past seven or eight years and obviously I have done well in pre-season and for Kent’s Second XI.

“Hopefully I can bowl well in this match but it was great to make my debut at the Oval in front of a good crowd and to bowl at two such good batters in Sibley and Pope tonight.

“I also can’t thank the South Asian Cricket Academy in Birmingham enough for accommodating me on their Winter training programme ahead of this season.”

Kent Spitfires’ T20 opener for 2023 is now NEXT WEEK, against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury. Entry to all scheduled T20 home matches is included in Kent Cricket Memberships, on sale now.

Buy T20 tickets now

Buy your T20 tickets now to save money, avoid disappointment & to lock in supporting your Spitfires during an exciting Summer of white-ball cricket!

Buy T20 tickets now

Members do not need to pre-book their space at T20 matches as per last season – entry will be gained by scanning a valid 2023 Kent Cricket Membership card at the gate.

Should seated areas such as the Frank Woolley Stand also sell-out, an allocation is set aside for Members & Six Pack Plus Ticket Holders.