Report: Kent v Warwickshire, County Championship
Warwickshire have thrashed Kent by an innings and 46 runs in their LV= Insurance County Championship game at Canterbury, bowling the hosts out for 332 on day three.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby took four for 59 in the second innings and finished with eight for 115 in the match, as Warwickshire issued a warning to their title rivals with an overwhelming victory.
Harry Finch made 67 and Jack Leaning 64, but the hosts were left to rue a dismal first innings performance and remain mired in a relegation battle.
Kent began day three on 55 for one, still 323 behind Warwickshire’s first innings score of 549 for seven, with Joe Denly and Ben Compton not out on 29 and 17 respectively.
An early appeal for a catch off Compton’s shoulder drew a cry of: “Are you Australia in disguise?” from the Frank Woolley Stand and although he survived that one, he became the morning’s first victim in the 26th over, when he nicked Hannon-Dalby behind for 26.
Denly made 45 from 105 balls before he was removed by Hannon-Dalby, caught by Michael Burgess after the ball seemed to ricochet off his pads.
Finch and Leaning batted through till rain brought an early lunch at 12.52 pm. Play resumed at 2.15, with nine balls bowled before a second, briefer delay of 20 minutes, resulting in a cumulative loss of nine overs.
It was Kent’s biggest stand of the match and worth exactly a hundred, but it ended when Leaning fell into a trap. With three fielders crowding the bat on the leg side he tried repeating a shot he’d played in Yates’ previous over and this time the bowler had him caught by Jacob Bethell.
Jordan Cox lasted 17 balls before he tried to sweep Yates and was lbw for four, leaving Kent on 223 for five at tea.
Finch’s obdurate innings came to an end when Chris Rushworth bowled him off stump with the new ball and when Henry Brookes had Joey Evison caught behind for 37, the last of Kent’s defensive-minded batters had gone.
Grant Stewart decided to have some fun, whacking successive sixes off Rushworth including one that went into a third-tier balcony in the Old Dover Road flats and he hung around for 44 balls, putting on 64 with Hamid Qadri before he hit Hannon-Dalby to Glenn Maxwell at gully for 40.
Any realistic hopes Kent had of taking the game into a fourth day ended when Qadri went to the very next ball, lbw to Maxwell for 30 and the victory was confirmed when Arshdeep Singh drove Hannon-Dalby to Will Rhodes at mid on in the next over.
Warwickshire’s Mark Robinson said: “It was hard work. We had the heartbreak at Trent Bridge where we just couldn’t get that one breakthrough so to get over the line in this one is outstanding because the wicket was like plasticine and the Kookaburra exacerbates everything.
“We were really, really good today. We were pretty average last night and could have bowled a bit better but we got that one big wicket and today we were magnificent and played with a lot of bravery and a lot of skill. I’m really pleased with Rob Yates. He’s worked so hard on his bowling and he’s got his opportunity today and got those two vital wickets in the middle.
“You always say this but it’s a team win and everyone’s chipped in. It seemed a long way to the new ball (when he broke the Finch-Leaning partnership) which is obviously your beacon of hope. You don’t really want your new ball with them in because you know it goes soft very quickly, but he gets some good revs on the ball and then we got another one very quickly.
“He’s somebody we think a lot of, otherwise we wouldn’t be capping him and recognising him as a senior player in our ranks. He just lacks a bit of consistency, otherwise I’m sure he’d be knocking on England’s door rather than ours because I think that must be his 11th or 12th hundred and he’s got this fantastic ability to convert once he gets to 50. He’ll just keep getting better and his bowling is an asset as well.”
A double-century from Rob Yates put Warwickshire in a commanding position after day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship game with Kent at Canterbury.
The visitors declared their first innings on 549 for seven, a lead of 378, before reducing Kent to 55 for one at stumps.
Yates hit his highest first-class score of 228 not out from 421 balls, with 23 fours and a six, having batted for nearly nine hours. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell made 81 in his first championship appearance for four years and Henry Brookes was unbeaten on 52 as the visitors dominated throughout.
Chris Rushworth bowled Tawanda Muyeye early in Kent’s second innings and although Ben Compton and Joe Denly survived till the close, the hosts are still 323 behind with two days remaining.
Warwickshire began the day on 155 for two and they’d nudged into a three-run lead when Sam Hain edged Arshdeep Singh and fell to a diving catch by Jordan Cox for 32.
Jacob Bethell immediately went on the attack, clubbing Hamid Qadri for a six that flew into the gardens on the Old Dover Road side of the ground. The ball was lost, somewhere in the vicinity of a dead pigeon it had apparently hit.
Kent’s hopes were looking nearly as lifeless when Jack Leaning briefly revived them with two wickets in five balls. Bethell was out for 31, caught by a back-pedalling Arshdeep at deep mid on for 31 and Ed Barnard went for a four-ball duck, narrowly surviving an lbw shout off the third ball he faced before getting caught behind.
This spasm of hope for the home side quickly subsided as Yates and Maxwell put on a stand of 124. The former reached three figures when he cut Arshdeep to third man and the lead was exactly a hundred at lunch.
Maxwell looked set for a hundred, but he was caught behind chasing a wide delivery from Matt Quinn, though with the lead already past the 200 mark there was little celebration either in the middle or on the boundary.
The most dramatic moment of the afternoon session came when Yates hit Qadri for a six that went so far over the bowler’s head that it ended up smashing a glass panel on the balcony of the Kent dressing room.
Yates cruised past his previous highest score of 141 with a straight-driven four off Grant Stewart and it was 442 for six at tea.
Michael Burgess was subsequently out for 42, caught off Quinn by Harry Finch at backward point but Yates survived a major scare when he was on 199, chipping a ball from Qadri just out of reach of three fielders, before he drove the next ball through the covers to pass 200.
The declaration came as soon as Brookes had creamed Leaning for six to reach his half-century, leaving Kent with 14 overs to survive under increasingly ashen skies.
Muyeye lasted just five balls before Rushworth sent his off stump flying and although Denly and Compton made it to the close on 29 and 17 respectively, Kent will need something approaching a miracle over the next two days to avoid a damaging defeat.
Warwickshire’s Rob Yates said: “It’s a real special day. It’s nice to get a career-best score and it’s put us in a real good position and set us up nicely for the next two days.
“It’s a bit of a slow pitch and it takes a bit more to get going but Maxi came in today and got the cogs going in terms of the scoring rate and on that surface it was pretty helpful. I think that’s why there were no worries last night or even this morning. We’d set a foundation and with Burgess coming in at eight, he’s a genuine all-rounder. We’re in a really nice position now.
“You’re concentrating all the time, but once I’d got to 160 or 170 I felt pretty good. It was certainly a good tempo as we got the bonus points. I think they might invoice me for the broken glass! (after his six from Qadri).
“It was really handy to have taken a wicket tonight, obviously we’d have liked to have, being greedy, got one or two more and maybe not gone for 50 runs but I think that’s what you get when you’re trying to hunt wickets. It’ll be a tough graft to get these next nine, but that’s why we’re here.
“I always like playing here, it’s a nice ground and nice away trip and it’ll always hold a special place for me now.”
Warwickshire dominated the first day of their LV= Insurance County Championship with Kent at Canterbury, reaching 155 for two at stumps, a deficit of just 16.
Rob Yates is unbeaten on 53, while Sam Hain is 29 not out.
Earlier Oliver Hannon-Dalby took four for 56 as Kent were bowled out for 171, a score that would have been even lower had Grant Stewart not blasted 50 from 45 balls. The hosts last three wickets added 93, more than half their total.
Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, originally signed for the Vitality Blast, made a rare first class appearance and bowled five overs, taking nought for 17, having been awarded his Warwickshire cap in a short ceremony before the start.
Kent chose to bat in broad sunshine at The Spitfire Ground, but approached their innings as if they were still in T20 mode.
Their openers were diligent enough in seeing out the first ten overs but the loss of Ben Compton seemed to flick a switch, ushering in a spell of four wickets for 19 runs in the space of 4.5 overs. Chris Rushworth started the collapse when he found Compton’s edge and he was caught behind for nine.
Joe Denly lasted just just four balls before he was lbw to Henry Brookes for one and Harry Finch’s first red-ball appearance of the season was even shorter as he made a three-ball duck, Rushworth finding his bottom edge and Michael Burgess taking a sharp catch standing up to the stumps.
Jack Leaning had made a relatively untroubled seven, but when Muyeye nudged the ball to mid on he hared down the wicket and made it almost as far as the strikers’ end before realising his partner hadn’t moved, allowing Will Rhodes to walk in and break the wicket.
Jordan Cox nearly met the same fate and although he was spared by a misfield, he’d made just 15 before he’d pulled Hannon-Dalby to Alex Davies at square leg. A disastrous session for the hosts came to an end when the same bowler had Tawanda Muyeye lbw for 38.
If that decision was harsh, Muyeye was the only batter who could really claim he’d been unlucky. Joey Evison went for four in the second over after lunch, victim of a tumbling catch by Burgess after he’d nicked Hannon-Dalby and it was left to Stewart to play the Stokes role.
He smashed Hannon-Dalby for a six that sailed over cow corner and through the branches of the St. Lawrence lime tree and was joined by Matt Quinn for a stand of 40 that proved the highest of the innings.
Quinn’s frenetic 15-ball cameo yielded a six and three fours before Brookes had him caught by the sub fielder, his brother Ethan, for 25.
Arshdeep Singh hit his first ball for six, but he left the pyrotechnics to Stewart, who dumped Hannon-Dalby for successive sixes over cow corner before his luck ran out when the same bowler had him caught on the boundary.
It had been an entertaining hour, but it looked a low score and lower still as Warwickshire advanced to 69 without loss. The opening stand was broken when Alex Davies was lbw for 42, perhaps unluckily, to Evison for 42.
Hamid Qadri then had Will Rhodes caught behind for 25, but Yates was on 42 when Kent missed a difficult chance to run him out and he and Hain were otherwise unflustered as they batted through the evening session.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby said: “Both me and Rushy thought ‘Oh, Jesus, there’s not a lot of pace in this.’ We thought it was pretty flat to be honest so to bowl them out for 170, we’re delighted.
“There was a little bit of help there. We’re using Kookaburra balls and it swung a little bit early on, so we kept it swinging for about 20 overs and luckily got a few wickets. We got a few soft ones and we had a nice run out, someone was caught on the hook as well so it’s nice when you get wickets like that, but like I said, to get them for 170 on a wicket like this, which is a pretty flat pitch, we’re really happy with it.
“Ideally we’ll go past them at some stage tomorrow early doors and bat as big as we possibly can. I’m a grumpy fast bowler so I’d like to keep my feet up for the next couple of days if possible! If we can go past them and get a really big score that’d be ideal for me.
“I think the Kookaburra probably does a bit less (than the Duke ball) to be honest. The seam’s bit flatter, there’s a little bit of swing early on, but not a lot. It probably swings about 30 overs and even then not a lot, not as much as the Duke. It’s just a little bit of swing and that period from 30 overs to be maybe 60 overs 70 overs when it’s soft it can be really hard work. I think we’ve already seen umbrella fields and the slip doesn’t really come into play, so catchers in front of the bat may be the way to go.”
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