Match Preview: Kent v Essex


Kent v Essex

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
Monday 05 – Thursday 08 September
10:30am start

The final month of Essex’s 2022 cricket calendar will be completed with four rounds of LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures and Division One looks set for an entertaining finish with both ends of the table in play.

Essex lead the mid-table pack in 4th place with 135 points and will the three sides below them and Lancashire, the side above them before the season is over.

Essex start away to 7th place Kent, who will be well aware that only 15 points separate them and the bottom two.



The Opposition:

Kent claimed one of the rarer titles last year when finishing top of Division Three in a County Championship adapted due to the pandemic.

Their form in red-ball cricket has been temperamental in 2022, not winning a game until their 7th fixture of the season, but picking up plenty of draws in between.

They have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five fixtures, dragging themselves up the table in the process.

Ben Compton has shot into the limelight in 2022, going from an unknown quantity into a banker for Kent and even being spoken about for higher honours. He is the only batter in the top tier to have reached 1000 runs in the County Championship and has done so at an average of 62.16. Daniel Bell-Drummond has also enjoyed an excellent season, scoring 829 runs at 51.81.

While Kent have shown the ability to score big runs this season, they have struggled to bowl sides out and that’s represented by the fact that on six separate occasions sides have racked up 500 against them.

Of Kent’s bowlers, only Matt Henry and Navdeep Saini have averaged below 30 with the ball and both have since returned from their overseas stints. The bowler with the next best average is Nathan Gilchrist, whose 19 wickets have come at 37.21, while Matt Milnes leads the wicket-taking charts with 21 victims at 40.80.

Kent sit on 114 points after 11 games, 21 points behind Essex and having played one more game. A strong last three games for the opposition will see them secure a spot in the middle of the table, however, a string of losses will see them enter a relegation battle.

As things stand:

League Table 2022 copy

Last time out:

The two sides last met in during the opening round of County Championship matches as bat dominated ball in a draw at Chelmsford.

Batting first, Essex’s openers put on a 220-run partnership with both Nick Browne and Alastair Cook reaching three figures. Each batter fell shortly afterwards, but Matt Critchley, on debut, gave the Essex crowd a taste of his ability with the bat, striking 132 from 179 balls as Essex posted 514.

In response, Ben Compton gave an indication of things to come by hitting 129 at the top of the order as Kent’s response got off to a good start. Jordan Cox, coming in at number four, then equalled Compton with 129 of his own before fifties for Darren Stevens and Matt Milnes saw Kent to 581 with little time remaining on the final day.

Despite Kent’s mammoth total, Critchley displayed his all-round capabilities by taking 4/114, while Dan Lawrence chipped in with 3/98.

Batting for a second time with a draw inevitable, Cook (26*) and Tom Westley (32*) saw the game out as Essex finished 68-1 with each team picking up 12 points.

How To Watch:

A free live stream of the game will be provided by our hosts via The Essex Cricket Matchzone, which includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the game.

The broadcast can be accessed via the Essex Cricket Matchzone here.