Stalemate against Students in the Springtime Sunshine

Wednesday 9th April 2014

Men’s First Team

Stalemate against Students in the Springtime Sunshine

The final day of the rain affected three day match against Loughborough MCCU saw the teams shake hands as the evening shadows lengthened. Only 14 wickets had fallen in the match and frankly, right from the opening overs, it was clear that a result was never really on the cards.

It was therefore a day of batting practice for Kent, as they took their turn on a slow, flat pitch. The home side started the day on 33 for 1 and looked untroubled as Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Northeast moved the score on to 98 before Northeast was bowled by Sam Grant for 33. But it was Bell-Drummond who scored big, as the youngster – looking confident and relaxed – moved towards a well-constructed hundred. It was his second first class hundred, and his teammates were delighted for him, greeting the milestone with enthusiasm from the dressing room balcony.

For much of his innings Bell-Drummond batted with Brendan Nash, who in his usual calm accumulating style put together a very solid 87. The partnership was worth exactly 100 runs before Bell-Drummond was retired out in order that others might get some batting practice.

During the day a new face was seen at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence as, straight off the plane from Australia, Doug Bollinger started to get used to his new surroundings. Bollinger was pleased to be in Canterbury and was in good heart despite the epic flight and considerable time difference.

The Loughborough attack toiled away, with the pick of the bowlers two Kent lads – Adam Riley who bowled well on a wicket that was too slow for him to be truly effective, and Will MacVicar who sent down 10 immaculate overs, picking up the wicket of Nash along the way.

Ben Harmison looked in good form, finding the boundary frequently after tea with the most cultured of shots. He shared in a partnership with Darren Stevens of 78 runs, with the run rate going above 5 for the first time in the match. Stevens played a delightful cameo, with two lusty sixes and four fours, accumulating a swift 45 at more than a run a ball. It was entertaining stuff for the faithful Kent supporters, getting their first cricket fix of the year, in the glorious spring sunshine.

At the fall of the fifth wicket, Sam Billings strode to the middle, only for the sides to conclude that matters should come to a close and the players walked off having settled for a draw. Kent will be happy with the workout that this fixture provided, coming as it does just days before the start of their Championship season. The team will travel to Worcester in good spirits on Saturday ready for the season opener at New Road on Sunday, a fixture that should see Doug Bollinger taking the field for Kent for the first time.

Sarah Morecombe