Thomas takes 5-wicket haul in friendly win

Thomas takes 5-wicket haul in friendly win

Ivan Thomas claimed a fine five-wicket haul as the Second XI won a hard-fought friendly match against Middlesex at Southgate.

Harry Podmore scored a superb century and Darren Stevens smashed a fluent ha;f-century in the second innings ahead of the return of the Specsavers County Championship on Sunday.

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In Will Gidman’s first match as interim player-coach while Min Patel is away with the England Under-19 coaching staff, Kent won the toss and opted to bat first.

Teenagers Harsh Kumar and Harry Came shared a 50 stand for the first wicket but Kent lost regular wickets with Beckenham all-rounder Will MacVicar scoring 45 before Gidman and Podmore joined forces.

Coming in at 126 for five, Gidman occupied the crease to share a stand of 82 as Podmore showed his potential as an all-rounder with the second century of his career.

The former Middlesex man hit sixteen fours and a six and shared a stand of 53 with Adam Riley before he was trapped LBW five short of his career-best 116* achieved for his old county’s second XI against Essex in 2015.

Another former player haunted the hosts as Imran Qayyum struck a superb unbeaten 33 in shepherding the tail to a total of 316.

In reply, the bowlers were rotated to get some red-ball overs in their legs ahead of the first-class return against Leicestershire on Sunday with two wickets each for Podmore, Qayyum, Mitch Claydon and Matt Hunn.

Academy scholar Tom Davis enjoyed a three-over cameo taking 1/5 in three overs for the 17-year-old seamer as the hosts were dismissed for 190.

With a lead of 126, quick runs before a declaration were the order of the day so Gidman pinch-hit 49 off 38 balls to get the second innings off to a flyer.

Stevens had vital time in the middle before Sunday as he struck ten fours and a six in an innings of 89 with contributions from academy scholar Jordan Cox (42), Adam Riley (34*) and Grant Stewart (32).

Chasing 426 to win, Middlesex started strongly with a 99-run opening stand broken by Qayyum and Ivan Thomas got the first of five wickets as the visitors’ patience were rewarded with regular wickets.

The spinners Riley and Qayyum took two wickets apiece as the resistance was led by Joe Cracknell and Blake Cullen reaching half-centuries.

Cullen was the last man out as Thomas celebrated the seventh five-wicket haul and the fourth for Kent’s second XI as victory was secured by 101 runs.

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