Match Report: Surrey vs. Kent

Match Report: Surrey vs. Kent

Kent made the journey to the Kia Oval to face rivals Surrey in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Day Four Report:

Daniel Bell-Drummond added another fighting 107 not out to his first innings 102 as Kent battled to a draw against LV= Insurance County Championship leaders Surrey.

View full scorecard

It is the first time the 28-year-old Bell-Drummond has scored two hundreds in a first-class match.

The loss of 14 overs to bad weather at the start of the final day was frustrating for Surrey, but the Kia Oval pitch remained a good one for batting throughout and hands were shaken at 5.48pm when Kent had taken their overnight second innings 121 for no wicket to 361 for 4.

Surrey took 16 points from this match, and Kent 12.

Bell-Drummond batted for a total of almost nine hours in the game, resisting in Kent’s second innings for 195 balls and 284 minutes after coming in when opener Ben Compton was leg-before to Sam Curran in the final day’s second over.

Play should have started at 11:50, following early morning rain, but just as the players reached the middle another shower meant a further five-minute delay. Amusingly, the Surrey team remained on the field as the umpires ordered the pitch to be covered and liaised with Oval ground staff, while Kent’s openers Compton and Joe Denly marched off back into their dressing room.

With a minimum of 82 overs now scheduled from 11:55, Denly – who resumed on 63 – was soon flashing Dan Worrall’s pacy outswing away through the gully area for four but Compton, on 47 overnight, had only added a single to his score when Curran skidded one into the left-hander’s pads through an attempted work to leg.

Denly, on 69, was then beaten by a full, in-slanting ball from Worrall that flicked the inside of his front pad before hammering into his back pad to make another upraised umpire’s finger a formality.

At 128 for two, Kent were suddenly under severe pressure, with the serene progress of Denly and Compton the evening before, when the openers had added 121 in 44 overs, seeming a distant memory.

Bell-Drummond, however, was joined by Jack Leaning in a stand of 107 either side of lunch that did much to guide Kent to safety. The pair, who had also added 161 together in Kent’s first innings, were largely untroubled although Bell-Drummond, on 54, did edge Curran just short of second slip – the ball flying away for one of the batsman’s 14 fours.

Surrey tried seven bowlers in all, but although Leaning was bowled off stump for 43 by a perfect inswinger by Curran, soon after the second new ball was taken at 219 for two, they could not dislodge Bell-Drummond.

Jordan Cox, on 27, fell for a trap set by Gus Atkinson when he pulled high to deep square leg but Surrey’s last chance of forcing a victory probably came on 301 for four – with Kent’s overall deficit still 41 and with more than 22 overs remaining – when Ollie Robinson, on 12, fended a short ball from Conor McKerr just short of Ben Geddes diving forward at a deepish short leg.

Geddes was then moved a couple of yards forward but no other opportunity came his way and, fittingly, the game ended soon after Bell-Drummond had completed his hundred, with Robinson finishing unbeaten on 39.

View full scorecard

Kent Men Head Coach Matt Walker said: “I think it was an outstanding effort from us to draw this match.

“Even after Day One we knew we were not in a position to win it, and we were staring down the barrel from about three-quarters of the way through the first day to be honest, with them getting to 445 for 5 by the end of that opening day.

“It was also a difficult task for us when we followed on but I thought Ben Compton and Joe Denly’s 121-run stand on the third evening was critical and, as for Daniel Bell-Drummond, he has batted superbly in both innings.

“He was frustrated to get out soon after reaching his hundred in the first innings but then to come out again second time around and bat like that just shows his strength of character and it’s great to see him back to his best in red-ball cricket.”

Day Three Report:

Daniel Bell-Drummond’s century and then patient innings from both Joe Denly and Ben Compton were the pick of Kent’s batting performances on Day Three at the Kia Oval.

View full scorecard

Earlier, Tom Lawes took four wickets on his LV= Insurance County Championship debut as leaders Surrey forced Kent to follow on.

The 19-year-old, swinging the ball consistently against the right-handers, took  three for 10 in the space of 18 balls either side of lunch after Kent, fortified by Daniel Bell-Drummond’s century, had been 216 for two.

They were bowled out for 331 with Lawes finishing four for 51.

Kent followed on with a hefty deficit of 342 but openers Ben Compton and Joe Denly dug in to reach 121 for 0 at stumps. It was an impressive effort although they still trail by 221 with work to do on the final day.

Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning had put on 161 for the third wicket in 54 overs to raise Kent’s hopes of saving the match on what remains a good batting surface.

When he reached 93, Bell-Drummond passed 7,000 first-class runs and a clip through mid-wicket off Gus Atkinson shortly afterwards took him to his 14th first-class century. He would depart, slicing a long hop from Will Jacks to backward point, for 102, which included ten fours.

Lawes could have claimed Leaning twice in the same over before eventually dismissing the Kent captain for 75. He failed to hold on to a tough return catch diving low to his left in his follow through before Dan Worrall dropped a straightforward chance at slip three balls later.

But the teenager’s perseverance was rewarded with two wickets in two overs as Leaning played on and Ollie Robinson drove airily and was caught at third slip. From 256 for three, Kent proceeded to lose their last seven wickets for 75 in 27 overs.

George Linde played on to Lawes in the third over after lunch and he had his fourth wicket when Matt Milnes wafted outside off stump and was caught behind.

Conor McKerr picked up two wickets when he switched to the Vauxhall End as Kent’s last four fell for 15 runs. Jordan Cox, who played well for his 47, clipped a leg-stump half-volley to mid-wicket and after Jacob Duffy was caught behind to give Atkinson his first wicket, McKerr finished things off courtesy of a superb reflex catch by Ben Geddes at short leg off Jas Singh’s firm push.

There were 44 overs left in the day when Kent began their second innings, but Surrey were unable to find a breakthrough. Jacks was introduced in the ninth over but there was little turn for the off-spinner while Compton coped well when Surrey’s seamers tested him against the short ball.

The left-hander passed 1,000 Championship runs when he got to eight and Denly reached his highest score of an injury-affected season as Surrey’s seven bowlers toiled in vain for a breakthrough.

View full scorecard

Kent batter Daniel Bell-Drummond, who made 102, said: “We will take a lot of confidence from how well Ben [Compton] and Joe [Denly] batted in that long final session, they played really nicely.

“It was a struggle at first but I became more fluent as my innings went on. It’s disappointing I couldn’t go on but I’m happy with that hundred. I’m enjoying batting at number three but things change quickly in cricket so I’m just taking it day by day and enjoying my cricket.”

Day Two Report:

Daniel Bell-Drummond & Jack Leaning provided stoic rearguard action to see Kent through a tricky period after a declaration saw them batting for the majority of second day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Surrey.

View full scorecard

Surrey piled up 673 for seven with Will Jacks making an undefeated 103 to add to the first-day hundreds by Ben Geddes and Hashim Amla, as well as Sam Curran’s maiden first-class hundred.

Curran then picked up Ben Compton in the fourth over of Kent’s reply and they also lost Joe Denly before Daniel Bell-Drummond and skipper Jack Leaning fought back either side of a 90-minute rain delay which took 17 overs out of the day’s allocation.

Bell-Drummond reached fifty for the second successive match as Kent closed on 147 for two, 526 runs behind.

Earlier, Curran and Will Jacks had added runs to Surrey’s large total. They hit 190 runs in 26.2 overs during a morning session interrupted by a 20-minute rain delay before Surrey declared 20 minutes after Lunch after Jacks on-drove Jas Singh for successive boundaries to bring up his hundred.

Curran reached his century with a straight hit off George Linde which brought him one of his five sixes. He also struck 15 fours in his 126 off 75 balls before slicing a drive to backward point off Linde.

Leaning brought himself into the attack – the eighth bowler he employed – and picked up Gus Atkinson, who drove to deep mid-off, but Jacks needed only 92 balls for his century, which included 18 boundaries.

Curran was soon in the action with the ball, striking in his second over when Ben Compton played on as Curran surprised him with extra bounce.

Joe Denly, making his way back after injury, was bowled through the gate to give Dan Worrall reward for a testing new-ball spell and leave Kent 55 for two.

But after the rain delay Bell-Drummond and Leaning dug in. Curran, whose first five-over spell went for 17, bowled four more overs in the evening session but on a good pitch Surrey’s bowlers will have to work hard over the remaining two days to chalk up their fifth win of the season.

View full scorecard

Kent fast bowler Toby Pettman said: “It was a tough first four and a bit sessions in the field for us but it was important to get through to the close only two down, Dan [Bell-Drummond] and Jack [Leaning] played great.

“The first 30 overs are so important because you have to see off that new ball. If we can get a good start tomorrow there’s no reason why we can’t bat as well as Surrey did. It’s a pretty good pitch.”

Day One Report:

Surrey made 445/5 against a below-strength Kent attack on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Kia Oval.

View full scorecard

Missing four frontline seamers through injury, Kent drafted in on-loan Nottinghamshire seamer Toby Pettman to play alongside Academy graduate Jas Singh, New Zealander Jacob Duffy and Matt Milnes in a bowling attack not utilised by the county before.

Kent were dealt further difficulties before the Toss had even taken place when Captain Sam Billings was drafted in as an emergency COVID-19 replacement for Ben Foakes at Headingley for England.

After stand-in skipper Jack Leaning won the Toss and elected to field first, Surrey openers Rory Burns and Ryan Patel flew out of the blocks.

Patel had hit seven fours in his punchy 40 from 35 balls when he edged behind off Milnes, looking to force, and in the next over – the 13th of the innings – 64 for 1 became 70 for 2 when Burns was acrobatically caught by keeper Ollie Robinson for 24.

Leg-glancing Pettman off the face of the bat, Burns was aghast to see Robinson – back behind the stumps because of Billings’ dramatic call-up to join England – leap to his right to cling on with a stunning effort.

South African stalwart Hashim Amla struck 15 fours in all, a number of them beautifully-timed through the covers off both the front and back foot, and his only moment of alarm in a 169-ball and near four-hour stay was when, on 47, he would have been run out had George Linde managed to hit the one stump he could see from point.

Amla, the 39-year-old former South Africa batsman, also hit 124 and was joined by 20-year-old Ben Geddes in a third wicket stand of 213 in 56 overs after Kent had asked Surrey to bat on a well-grassed but true pitch.

Geddes, on his Oval Championship debut and in just his fourth first-class match, struck two sixes and 16 fours in a 242-ball stay on a day of unrelenting toil for Kent’s bowlers.

Geddes, on 46, survived a hard, low catch to Linde in a similar position, when he square drove Duffy but otherwise the Surrey academy graduate was relatively untroubled as he pulled powerfully at anything short and also scored prolifically through square cover.

And if he was nervous in the 90s, as he approached his maiden first-class century, he did not show it as he swung Jas Singh’s fast-medium over wide mid wicket for six to go to 97 and then, in the next over, extra cover drove Joe Denly’s leg spin for his 15th four to reach three figures.

But Amla and Geddes’ fine tons were only the warm-up acts for Smith, who raced to his fifty in 48 balls and hit a six and seven fours, and Curran, who thumped Duffy over long on for six and struck nine gorgeous fours besides.

Kent’s difficult day in the field was heightened as Stumps approached by Sam Curran’s explosive 53 not out from just 28 balls.

Remarkably, Jamie Smith, who was bowled by a persevering Toby Pettman in the final over for a classy 55, did not score a single run after Curran came in at the fall of Geddes for 124 to a sharp, tumbling second slip catch by Jordan Cox off Matt Milnes.

View full scorecard

Jack Leaning, captaining Kent in the absence of Billings, said: “There was plenty of life in the pitch this morning, as we saw when we got those two wickets when we put the ball in the right areas.

“But overall that was another long day in the field in which we have not performed at our best. We have an uphill task now as we try to get ourselves out of this position in the game.”

Next Home Match

Glamorgan are the final visitors from Kent’s South Group opponents in the Vitality Blast.

Buy tickets now