Match Report: Kent v Essex


Kent v Essex

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Spitfire Ground, Monday 05 – Thursday 08 September


Team News:

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Feroze Khushi, Matt Critchley, Adam Rossington (wk), Shane Snater, Ben Allison, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Kent: Ben Compton, Ollie Robinson, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Jack Leaning, Jordan Cox, Sam Billings (c & wk), Grant Stewart, Matt Milnes, Harry Podmore, Matt Quinn.

Match Details:

Umpires: Mike Burns & Ben Debenham
Match Referee: Dean Cosker
Result: Essex won by an innings & 260 runs

Scorecard: View Here

Day Four Highlights:

Day Four Report:

Essex comprehensively defeated Kent by an innings and 260 runs on day four of the LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury.

Tom Westley’s team needed just 4.4 overs to claim the remaining two wickets on the final day and claim 23 points after bowling Kent out for 149.

Sam Cook took 10/60 in the match, including 7/33 in the second innings, while Jamie Porter claimed 3/50.

Jordan Cox was Kent’s top scorer with 65, but the result leaves in the hosts in deep relegation mire, having taken just a single point.

Torrential rain delayed the start until 12:38pm, with Kent resuming on 137-8 in their second innings, needing 272 runs to make Essex bat again.

In reality, with Milnes’ mobility drastically reduced due to a stress fracture in his back, Kent’s only hope of escaping with a draw was to bat for as long as possible and hope the rain returned.

Milnes, in what may be his final act as a Kent player before he moves to Yorkshire next season, lasted three overs before getting a bottom edge to Cook that was taken by a tumbling Nick Browne.

Although dark clouds were hovering, the rain stayed away and the victory was sealed when Cox edged Porter and fell to a juggling catch by Matt Critchley in the slips.

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Report:

Kent batters will be sick of the sight of Ben Allison and Sam Cook, who tormented them on a day where 16 Kent wickets fell and Essex came unbearably close to completing a victory inside three days at Canterbury.

Each of the seamers came into the day in high spirits after striking their highest first-class scores in Essex’s first innings and Allison would have more to cheer about before the Lunch break, picking up 4/31 in the session on the way to another career-best.

Beginning the day on 74-4 and trailing by 499 runs, Kent were in desperate need of a wicketless session. Cook put those hopes to bed when he had Leaning caught by yesterday’s hero Khushi at mid-wicket.

From that point onwards, every other wicket to fall in the morning session went to Allison. The tall fast-bowler produced an unerringly accurate spell using his height and the width of the crease to angle the ball into the Kent batters and finding late movement away.

This proved too much for Sam Billings, who batted with a runner but was clearly hampered by injury, Grant Stewart and Harry Podmore, all of whom offered catches of varying difficulty to Adam Rossington behind the stumps.

Allison then found some extra bounce from a pitch that had extra zest after intermittent bouts of rain. Jordan Cox, Kent’s joint highest scorer with 34, was stuck on his crease as the Allison delivery lifted into the underside of his elbow and then down onto the off stump to give the bowler his fourth wicket.

Rain intervened to bring an early Lunch, but it was barely a relief to Kent who were on 145-9 and still miles behind.

Shane Snater wrapped the innings up shortly after Lunch by removing two of Matt Quinn’s stumps, leaving Matt Milnes, the second of Kent’s batters to require a runner after picking up a back injury, stranded and the innings wrapped up for 164.

With a sketchy forecast, it was no surprise that Essex enforced the follow-on and opted to attempt to wrap up proceedings as soon as possible.

The Kent opening pair survived the first five overs with few scares, however, one ball later Cook drew Ollie Robinson forward and took the edge to get the breakthrough. When he repeated the trick later in the same over to remove Daniel Bell-Drummond, Kent were 23-2 and Rossington had catch number seven of the match, two short of equalling Essex’s record.

In Cook’s next over he took two further wickets, this time in consecutive balls as Ben Compton and Jack Leaning edged to Critchley at second slip. Cook was agonisingly short of completing hattrick as Joe Denly edged his next delivery inches short of Matt Critchley’s open hands.

Denly was, however, eventually Cook’s man as the bowler pulled his length back and Denly miscued an attempted pull to a grateful Nick Browne. When the same bowler and fielder combined to dismiss Stewart, Kent were 68-6 and Cook had the ridiculous figures of 6/20.

Despite resistance from Cox and Podmore, Kent’s battle was now surely a losing one and when Porter was reintroduced into the attack he duly ripped out Podmore’s off stump.

At 105-7 and the evening session now well underway, Billings hobbled to the crease with a runner for the second time in one day, surely hoping that if they could see out the day then the weather will do the rest.

That wasn’t to transpire as he picked up an unfortunate same-day pair when he chipped Porter to Essex’s skipper Tom Westley at mid-off. Cue the rather unusual scene of a batter walking off while their runner stays in the middle waiting for the incoming batter to meet them. Milnes it was who still required assistance after sustaining a back injury on Day One.

Despite Milnes clearly struggling to get underneath numerous Snater bouncers, he was able to offer enough resistance to see Cox through to an excellent fifty and to take the game into the extra half hour.

More dogged defence from the pair frustrated the Essex bowlers as Kent finished the day 137-8. All eyes will be on the sky tomorrow as Kent’s season-defining month looks set to start needing a gift from the heavens.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Report:

Feroze Khushi’s 164 was the highlight of Day Two in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Canterbury, where Essex posted 573 before reducing Kent to 74-4 in reply as bad light brought proceedings to an early close.

Khushi resumed play on 46 and brought up his half-century off the first ball of the day, striking a Grant Stewart delivery through mid-wicket for four. A classy maiden first-class century arrived for the 23-year-old in his third Championship match and it came from 228 balls and included two sixes and 18 fours.

He was duly supported by an impressive knock of 90 from Matt Critchley who was soon the victim of a Kent breakthrough when Daniel Bell-Drummond had him caught behind by Ollie Robinson, who was keeping wicket because Sam Billings suffered a groin injury on Day One.

Bell-Drummond, who was bowling because Milnes was struggling with a back issue, then removed Adam Rossington, who was caught at cow corner by sub-fielder Hamid Qadri for 6.

Shane Snater soon followed after being caught by Matt Quinn for 11 off the bowling of Harry Podmore, but Essex were able to regroup and advance to 408-7 at lunch. A total of four batting bonus points were secured for surpassing the 350-mark inside 110 overs.

Khushi reached three figures 40 minutes after the restart, cutting Joe Denly to backward point and leaping in the air as he completed the single and marked another landmark moment in his short career.

As Essex went through the gears, Allison reached 50 with a straight driven four off Denly, but after passing his previous highest first-class score of 52, he was then out to the former England man after being bowled for 53.

Khushi took Essex past 500 by hitting Denly back over his head for six and rapidly put on 69 for the ninth wicket partnership with Sam Cook, who made 38 before he holed out to Denly and was caught on the boundary by the sub, Joey Evison.

The innings finally ended when Khushi miscued a drive off Podmore and was caught by Jack Leaning, who held the catch despite a collision with the inrushing Stewart.

The final Essex wicket brought the lunch break but soon after, Essex were able to pile on more misery to their rivals. Kent’s reply began with Ben Compton’s leg stump sent flying as Jamie Porter bowled him behind his legs for just 2. A questionable hook shot by Ollie Robinson soon left Kent two wickets down after he cracked Porter to Allison at point to depart for 14.

Daniel Bell-Drummond fell to a smart one-handed catch by Rossington off Sam Cook for 18 with Denly hanging around for 45 balls before Cook got his second of the evening session as Rossington caught him behind for 11.

Play was halted officially at 5:27pm due to bad light with six overs remaining, to the audible relief of the home supporters with Jack Leaning (19) and Jordan Cox (1) the not out batters.

Porter and Cook finished the day with two wickets apiece and figures of 2/30 and 2/14, respectively.

One notable absentee from Canterbury was Essex Head Coach, Anthony McGrath who was at the birth of his son. Everyone at the Club would like to congratulate Mags and his partner, Jane on the arrival of their second child and the newest member in the Essex Cricket family.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Report:

Essex are in the ascendancy at Canterbury after reaching 327 for four at Stumps on Day One of their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Kent.

Matt Critchley took advantage of being given a life on six to finish the day not out on 80 after Alastair Cook and Tom Westley had made half-centuries earlier in proceedings.

Despite winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Kent’s bowlers struggled to consistently challenge the bat on a slow pitch and too often they gave the Essex batters chances to score, which they accepted gratefully.

When these two sides last met in red-ball cricket, Cook and Browne posted in excess of 200 for the opening wicket, they had to be content with a century opening stand this time around as, on 45, Browne offered a return catch to Matt Quinn.

The opening pair had looked relatively untroubled up until that point, with the only two moments of discomfort being edges that dropped short of the slips as the slow pitch thwarted Kent even in overcast and humid conditions.

Tom Westley joined Cook and picked up where the opening pair had left off, striking 10 boundaries in his 50 and continuing his good form from the Royal London Cup.

Cook had looked in fine touch, but to his disgust edged a Grant Stewart delivery to the right of first slip where Ollie Robinson took a wonderful catch.

Dan Lawrence fell soon after as he struggled to settle at the crease and when Westley was run out for 54 going for a third run, Essex had been reduced to 221-4 and Kent felt back in the game.

That feeling was to be short-lived, however, as Critchley played fluently and, after a watchful start, Feroze Khushi demonstrated his stroke-playing ability to race to 46 from 65 balls at the close.

There was more to worry about for Kent as wicketkeeper Sam Billings was forced off the field with an injury and Ollie Robinson had to take over work with the gloves. Kent will be keeping everything crossed that Billings is able to make a recovery as, with Essex well-placed in their first innings, his ability with bat in hand will be priceless to the hosts.