Tredwell reflects on his match winning performance at Headingley

Wednesday 15th September 2010

Kent and England off-spinner James Tredwell (pictured) had an extraordinary end to the season today when his 7 for 22 – including a remarkable hat-trick – spun his county to a four-wicket win over Yorkshire at Headingley. Despite the win not being enough to ensure LV=County Championship division one survival, the 28 year-old was still thrilled with the feat: “I was delighted to get the hat-trick. With it spanning across a couple of overs, I think I was the only one on the field who realised it was a hat-trick ball! Seriously, it was great to do it for the first time and to help swing the game.”

Day four in Leeds started with the home side requiring quick runs to set Kent a target as they pursued their own title ambitions. At one stage they were 93 for one, but before long they had capitulated to 130 all-out as the wily Tredwell ripped through the Yorkshire card, something he felt helped put Kent in pole position: “It“s certainly up there with all what I“ve achieved in my career. As I said, I think it was the turning point in the game. It was good for me to get the seven wickets as it changed the course of the game. We moved from the thoughts of trying to set up a game into actually thinking that we could win it. To do it so convincingly in the end was great for us all.”

With Warwickshire cruising to a ten-wicket win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl, Rob Key“s men were condemned to division two after a tough season. Tredwell though is positive that Kent can take heart from their efforts late in the season and is already looking forward to next season: “It was a brilliant end to proceedings. Everyone was so happy to win the game and end the season in style. Sadly, despite winning at Headingley, we have gone down after Warwickshire won their game at Hampshire but we have finished strongly in all competitions now. We did it in the Friends Provident t20, in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and now in this competition too. Hopefully we can take this into next season and start 2011 well. Everyone is bitterly disappointed to go down but hopefully we can come straight back up – just as we did last season.”

The spinner, whose haul today would have put him back in contention for an Ashes berth, believes he knows where Kent have struggled this season: “There have been some disappointments. We“ve been in lots of good positions, where we could have got in positions to win matches, but, perhaps, we have lacked a bit of concentration and that killer instinct. We have dropped catches at crucial phases and suffered batting collapses. I guess we haven“t really nailed things down when we have got into winning positions.”

Kent“s resources have been limited throughout the season with many youngsters, such as Sam Northeast, Matt Coles and Alex Blake, being relied upon despite their tender years. Tredwell believes the strain has been evident during the final stages of the season: “We were certainly stretched towards the end of the season. It would have been nice if we had a few more players so we could bring in a fresh pair of legs from time to time. You saw what that does this match. Dewald [Nel] came in and took nine in the match. If we had others then it could have had a telling impact on the season. I think two or three more players, making an impact when fresh, might have made a real difference. Still, hopefully we can stay fit as a group next year and enjoy a good season.”

After a tough first season at the St Lawrence Ground, injury hit seamer Nel, making his championship debut for the county at Headingley, shone with match figures of nine for 125 and fully played his part in the win. Tredwell was keen to credit the South African born quick: “He impressed me in this game. If I“m honest, I don“t think many of us had seen that much of him. He came down at the start of the season and bowled a bit in pre-season but then got injured. I think we were all pleasantly surprised. He showed what he can do and that is really positive for next season. Hopefully this performance will spur him on to keep improving his game.”

With Graeme Swann a nailed on starter for England“s Ashes team, the battle is on to make the trip as his understudy. In this game Tredwell out-bowled rival Adil Rashid (four for 124), but faces more competition from Monty Panesar and Michael Yardy for the role. He is, however, just happy to have put himself in contention with today“s fine display: “I would love to make the plane and be the second spinner for an Ashes series. This performance certainly won“t have done me any harm. Hopefully people got the opportunity to look on and will now start to mention my name again. I think I must be there or thereabouts anyway but performances like the one I“ve just put in can only help.”

Picture: Sarah Ansell