Match Report: Warwickshire vs. Kent

Match Report: Warwickshire vs. Kent

Kent’s first away trip of the season came in the shape of the test of Warwickshire in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.

Kent Spitfires’ T20 opener for 2023 is now less than 7 weeks away, against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury on Wednesday 24 May – entry to all scheduled T20 home matches is included in Kent Cricket Memberships, on sale now.

Buy T20 tickets now

Day Four Report:

Superb Kent rearguard action took things into near-darkness as Warwickshire toiled to claim a thrilling LV=Insurance County Championship victory in the final day gloom at Edgbaston.

View full scorecard

The home side secured victory when Joey Evison edged Hassan Ali behind to fall heartbreakingly for 99 having taken his side so close to salvaging a heroic draw.

When the visitors, having followed on 295 behind, declined to 99 for seven in their second innings, an ignominious defeat beckoned. But opener Ben Compton (88, 185 balls) and 21-year-old all-rounder Evison (99, 161) added 100 in 25 overs to hoover up much of the afternoon session. Then, after Compton fell in the first over after over Tea, Evison and loanee Conor McKerr added 74 in 27 overs.

Kent were within touching distance of a great escape when, with the light fading fast, Olly Hannon-Dalby returned to have McKerr brilliantly caught by Will Rhodes at fourth slip and then Ali sealed the win with a luscious outswinger to the heroic Evison.

For Kent, the final-day fighting spirit offered some consolation but defeat comes as a major jolt after their opening-round victory over Northamptonshire. They are at least likely to be boosted by the likely return from injury of seamers Nathan Gilchrist and Grant Stewart, as well as a debut for new signing Wes Agar, when they face Essex at Canterbury next week.

Kent resumed on the final morning 27 for one, needing to bat out the day, but plummeted to 51 for five in the first 12 overs. Warwickshire’s seamers continued where they left off the previous day when they took 11 wickets in 52 overs.

Compton applied himself assiduously but saw a string of partners perish. Nightwatch Quinn had his off stump flattened by a Chris Woakes inswinger before four wickets fell to smart work by the slips.

Rob Yates took two low catches to remove Daniel Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning, Rhodes made no mistake to oust Joe Denly and Jordan Cox, having defied for just over an hour for 29, edged to Sam Hain. When skipper Sam Billings decided too late to leave a ball from Hannon-Dalby and deflected it on to his middle stump, it was 99 for seven.

Compton and Evison dug in deep, the former enhancing his remarkable first-class batting average of 58, but were parted in the first over after tea when Compton edged Rushworth and Yates took yet another excellent slip catch, this time fast and high and particularly impressive as he saw the ball very late with wicketkeeper Michael Burgess standing up to the stumps.

That left Kent’s last two wickets with 36 overs to survive, and they came gallantly close to achieving it before the depth and quality of Warwickshire’s seam attack had the final say.

View full scorecard

Kent Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker said: “We definitely didn’t deserve much from this game at all but when people fight hard like the way the guys did and they get you close to the line, and then you fall just short, they are the gut-wrenchers.

“What it does is give you some positives to take out of the game and the character shown by Compton early on and they Joey Evison with great support from Conor McKerr sends a real message to the group that with concentration and determination and hard work and good decision-making, things can be done.

“It was a good challenge today against one of the best bowling attacks in the country. They showed us how to bowl on that wicket. When you get bowled out cheaply then everybody looks at the batting but we made it too easy for them with the ball as well. We were way off our game and they punished us the way good teams do.

“Matt Quinn’s injury is not too bad. I think he caught it early so we have been able to have a look at it. Great credit to him for going back out there and bowling again, obviously not at full tilt. That’s two weeks in a row we have lost a bowler during the game and obviously that’s not ideal, but that was no excuse here.

“Playing on Test match wickets is very different to Canterbury, you have to be so disciplined with your areas, just smash a zone all day long just as they did. We leaked both sides of the wicket and our lengths weren’t particularly good and they took full advantage.

“We were outclassed a bit overall but the gutsy performance in the last few hours of the game sends out a good message to the group that we need to step up and show some character as a batting unit.”

Day Three Report:

Kent were forced to follow on in their LV=Insurance County Championship match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Day Three.

View full scorecard

In reply to the home side’s 453 for four declared (Sam Hain 165 not out from 269 balls, Dan Mousley 94 from 93) Kent were dismissed for 158 before closing the third day on 27 for one, following on.

Hassan Ali led the way with three for 36 and England’s Chris Woakes picked up two wickets in his first Championship match for 19 months.

It remains a good batting pitch but Kent have work to do on the final day to deny Warwickshire what would be a remarkable win after the weather took out sessions four to seven of the match.

After Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 367 for three, Hain and Mousley extended their partnership to 179. With Kent a key bowler down, Matt Quinn off the field nursing the groin injury he collected on the first day, at times all nine outfielders were on the boundary.

Despite this, Mousley fell six short of a maiden first class century when he hoisted spinner Jack Leaning to long on.

Hain and Michael Burgess added 39 from 31 balls to take Warwickshire to maximum bating points at which point they declared to make the earliest possible start on the pursuit of 20 Kent wickets. Chris Rushworth delivered the first two in a textbook new-ball spell as he trapped Zak Crawley lbw for a sixth-ball duck and then also had Ben Compton adjudged as leg-before. When Joe Denly nicked an Ali outswinger to wicketkeeper Burgess, Kent were 63 for three and a good-sized Edgbaston crowd were getting some reward for their patience through hours waiting for the grass to dry.

Daniel Bell-Drummond survived a nervous start to unfurl some attractive strokes on his way to 40 (65 balls) but perished just after Tea when he sliced a steeply lifting Ali delivery to gully. Ed Barnard then ousted Jack Leaning, caught at point.

At 86 for five, Kent needed serious shoring up and Jordan Cox and Sam Billing put down some roots in a stand of 24 but a lapse in judgment from Cox triggered another clatter. The 22-year-old left one from Olly Hannon-Dalby which hit off-stump to trigger the loss of the last five wickets for 48.

Kent then had 12 overs to bat second time round. Crawley’s unhappy day continued when he suffered an arguable lbw decision against Rushworth before bad light lopped off the last four overs.

View full scorecard

Kent Bowling Coach Simon Cook said: “It was a tough day, there’s no doubt about that and we’ve got a little bit of work to do tomorrow. We have got to take a positive outlook in terms of building small partnerships and then those partnerships turn into big partnerships and then the day gets a bit easer as we go through.

“If you look at the massive picture to start with, 300 runs behind, the task can seem a bit daunting but if we break it down into smaller chunks, and just keep wining small sessions and trying to put pressure back onto Warwickshire, we should be able to come out of this game with some points, dust ourselves down and head on to Essex.”

Day Two Report:

Both sides endured a day of frustration as a second-day washout prevented Warwickshire continuing to bat against Kent in their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.

View full scorecard

The home side had piled on the pressure in the first day, piling up 367 for three after they were put in by visiting skipper Sam Billings. Sam Hain (124 not out) and Dan Mousley (72 not out) were ready to build on their stand of 132 only for persistent Birmingham rain to keep the players off for all of day two.

The lost time increases Kent’s chances of leaving Birmingham with a draw and also gives fast-bowler Matt Quinn, who suffered a groin injury on the first morning, extra recovery time.

Warwickshire will hope it is not a case of déjà vu from last week’s game against Somerset at Taunton when they had much the better of the match but could not force home victory after the loss of the entire first day to rain.

With a much better weather forecast for the next two days Kent, will still have to work hard to get safe against an attack including Chris Woakes – but the pitch is good for batting.

View full scorecard

Day One Report:

Warwickshire seized an early advantage against Kent opening day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.

View full scorecard

Rob Yates struck 128 (217 balls) and Sam Hain an unbeaten 124 (235) to enhance their England credentials at the expense of a Kent attack which toiled on a good batting surface in the West Midlands.

Yates and Hain added 166 for the third wicket before Dan Mousley added late impetus with a sparkling unbeaten 72 (78 balls).

Kent’s seam attack, already missing the injured Nathan Gilchrist and Grant Stewart, was further hampered when Matt Quinn limped off just 22 balls into his new-ball spell. The New Zealander returned after Lunch but was unable to prevent a difficult day for Kent after their wining start to the season against Northamptonshire last week.

For Warwickshire, who welcomed England star Chris Woakes back into the team, it was a strong day’s work to follow their impressive domination of Somerset in their rain-affected opening-round draw at Taunton.

Yates in particular enjoyed a satisfying day as he celebrated his return to the top of the order following Dom Sibley’s return to Surrey.

As the Edgbaston season opened in glorious sunshine but a biting wind, Yates and Alex Davies opened aggressively. Davies moved crisply to 23 (34 balls) before playing on to Joey Evison’s third ball.

Conor McKerr, playing the first instalment of a two-match loan from Surrey, soon added the wicket of Will Rhodes, who skied an ugly hoik to mid-on, but that was Kent’s last success for 51 overs. Yates reached his half-century from 69 balls with his tenth four, cut off McKerr, and celebrated with six ladled over long leg off Michael Hogan.

Hain followed to a more circumspect fifty (122 balls) as the third-wicket pair advanced solidly throughout the afternoon. It was a compact, well-managed partnership for the team plan. With Woakes joining a seam-attack also including Olly Hannon-Dalby, Chris Rushworth and Hassan Ali, Warwickshire will fancy their chances of putting Kent under serious pressure if they can amass a big total.

Yates completed an accomplished century from 122 balls but became Joe Denly’s 78th first class victim when he lifted the all-rounder to mid-on.

In came Dan Mousley, and the 21-year-old lifted Evison and Denly for sixes in his first 20 balls and then sent the new ball, propelled by Quinn, far into the seats at long on.

The implacable Hain – his England chance will surely arrive one day – reached his 16th first class century from 198 balls, whilst Mousley motored to 50 in 55 and the fourth-wicket pair added an unbroken 132 up to the close.

View full scorecard

Kent Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker said: “It was a case of us not bowling at our very best and them playing very well. It was a tough day, losing Quinny early on and he showed great fight to come back and be able to do something but he was probably bowling at 60 per cent so that was a bit of a frustration.

“But we didn’t get it right, we know that. We got hit both sides of the wicket and just couldn’t find our length consistently for any length of time on a pretty good wicket.

“With the toss we felt that bowling first was our best chance to win the game, with a bit in the pitch and a bit of moisture around – equally we knew if we had lost the toss and batted it wouldn’t have been an issue, it is just a good cricket wicket.

“We just weren’t quite good enough but there’ll be a bit of reflection on the day and we’ve got to come back tomorrow positive and better and when our chance comes to bat, take it because we know there are runs to be had. We need to come back stronger tomorrow and just make it hard for them to score.

“We’ll have to see how Quinny’s groin settles down. He recognised there was something not right, it was nothing drastic, not a pop or anything like that, and he was able to get back out there and bowl but not a full capacity so hopefully he recovers well overnight. It doesn’t help because you want everyone firing to their max so that made the first session a little bit difficult for us, having lost Grant and with Gillie on his way back.”

Be here for every moment that matters this Summer. A Kent Cricket Membership guarantees you entry into every scheduled home match this season, without the need to pre-book tickets – starting at just £275.

Buy your Membership now