Sunday, May 19, 2024


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Kent faced Lancashire in their fourth Vitality County Championship match of the season, at Emirates Old Trafford.

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Day Two Report:

Nathan Gilchrist took a career-best six for 24 to help Kent take complete control of their Vitality County Championship match on a dramatic afternoon at Emirates Old Trafford.

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Replying to the visitors’ 261, Keaton Jennings’ side were bowled out for 92 in 30 overs, with both Gilchrist and Wes Agar, who bagged four for 35, making the most of cloudy conditions.

Presented with the luxury of a 169-run first-innings lead, the Kent skipper, Daniel Bell-Drummond, chose to enforce the follow-on and his decision was justified as Lancashire lost three wickets for as many runs late in the day to finish on 119 for four, still 50 runs in arrears.

In the 40 minutes’ play that had been possible before lunch, Kent resumed on 203 for seven and added 36 runs for the loss of Agar, who was bowled for 13 when he went back to a quicker delivery from Lyon that turned through the gate.

The new ball was taken immediately after lunch and brought immediate dividends when Gilchrist was caught behind by Matty Hurst off Tom Bailey for 10, but Matthew Parkinson, who was playing his first innings at Emirates Old Trafford since he left Lancashire for Kent, ensured that his new team would collect a bonus point when he edged two runs through the slip cordon.

That, however, was the extent of the last man’s modest heroics as he was caught behind for three two overs later, thus giving Will Williams his 200th wicket in first-class cricket. Joey Evison ended the innings unbeaten on 71, his runs scored off 150 balls, ten of which he hit for four.

The value of Evison’s 198-minute innings was soon apparent as Lancashire collapsed to 40 for seven in 17.4 overs. Luke Wells was the first to go when he edged Agar to Jack Leaning and departed for 10 but the disintegration really gathered pace when the home side lost four wickets for five runs in ten balls.

Josh Bohannon cover-drove Gilchrist for four but lost his middle stump next ball when he inside-edged an attempted pull into his wicket. Next over, skipper Keaton Jennings nicked behind to Adam Finch for four when caught half-forward by Agar, who then trapped Tom Bruce lbw first ball.

The tumble of wickets continued next over when George Bell nicked Gilchrist to Finch and the same bowler had George Balderson caught at slip by Denly for two to leave Lancashire in tatters. The mayhem continued when Tom Hartley’s wild slash to a ball outside the off stump merely gave Zak Crawley his first catch and Gilchrist his fourth wicket.

Lancashire’s disastrous afternoon continued when Tom Bailey was caught down the leg side off Agar for five but some defiance was shown by Hurst, who hit three fours and two sixes in an innings of 36 that took his side past 61, their lowest first-class score against Kent, which they made at Old Trafford in 1884.

Hurst became Gilchrist’s fifth wicket when he pulled him straight to Zak Crawley at deep midwicket and the innings ended when Williams edged a ball from Gilchrist to give Finch his fourth catch.

In their second innings, Wells and Jennings immediately took the attack to Kent’s new-ball attack. The fifty partnership came up in the ninth over and the aggression continued even after Wells had been caught at slip by Leaning off Gilchrist.

Josh Bohannon helped his skipper add a further 51 before he was caught by Leaning off Evison for 31 when attempting a drive and Lancashire suffered another crucial blow when Jennings was brilliantly stumped by Finch off Parkinson for 40. Will Williams lasted only one ball before being bowled by Gilchrist for a single.

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Kent bowler, Nathan Gilchrist, said: “Obviously we’re very positive after today. We bowled in some really good conditions but as a group I thought we performed really well.

“Wes Agar bowled really well and then my job was made quite easy. I just had to run in and keep things really simple. The ball was doing a fair bit and on days like these it’s really pleasing when the hard work paid off.

“Following on was quite a simple decision because the conditions were still in our favour but we probably didn’t make the most of it  at the start of their second innings. But getting our wickets has made it a lot easier going into the third day.

“I was a deep point when Harry Finch made his stumping and it was unreal. It was great work from him and I’m not sure even he expected to make that stumping.

“It’s always nice to do well against your previous county and I think Matt Parkinson was enjoying being on top for most of today. He’s always a good laugh in the field and it was nice to have him around today.

“Realistically I’m nowhere near my best considering I’ve only played five games in the last 18 months but days like today give you a lot of confidence going into the next few games.”

Day One Report:

Kent’s Joey Evison made his third fifty of the season as the Spitfires put on 203/7 against Lancashire on the first day of their Vitality County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.

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Evison was helped by Grant Stewart, with whom he put on 69 for the seventh wicket, a stand in which both batters took the attack to Lancashire’s Test spinners, Nathan Lyon and Tom Hartley, on a gloomy afternoon in Manchester.

The pair came together with their side placed on 129 for six after George Balderson had taken three prime wickets in 28 balls, but their calculated aggression had enabled the visitors to reach 203 for seven, with Evison unbeaten on 50, when rain arrived five overs into the evening session and prevented any chance of a resumption.

But Evison and Stewart’s aggression was in sharp contrast to the watchful opening 75 minutes of the day, in which 45 runs were scored in 17 overs. However, Kent then lost three wickets in four overs. Ben Compton was the first to go when he pushed forward to a delivery from Balderson and was caught by wicketkeeper Matty Hurst for 13.

Zak Crawley then stroked a trio of fine fours off successive balls from Balderson but was dismissed for 41 in the next over when his cover drive to Will Williams nicked a catch to Hurst. And Lancashire’s best period of the morning was completed a few minutes later when Balderson nipped one away from Daniel Bell-Drummond and the Kent skipper was caught by George Bell at third slip for three.

Jack Leaning was bowled for four when a ball from Balderson snaked inside his loose off drive and knocked back the leg stump. That meant Kent had lost four wickets for 27 runs and it left the home side poorly placed on 76 for four at lunch.

Matters got no better for Kent on the resumption when Harry Finch was pinned on the crease by Williams for three to leave the visitors on 83 for five. However, Evison showed no sign of being overawed and put on 46 with Joe Denly, who then tried to take on Jennings, the long-on fielder, and was caught by the Lancashire skipper off Lyon for 18.

By mid-afternoon Lyon was bowling in tandem with Hartley, a tactic to which Evison and Stewart responded with selective attack rather than dull quiescence. Stewart showed a particular keenness to swat Lyon through the off side whenever the Australian pitched short and brought up the pair’s fifty partnership when he thumped Hartley over long-on for six.

Only six balls could be bowled after tea before a brief interruption for rain and shortly after the players returned, Evison reached his fifty off 117 balls with a single off Lyon. But joy in the away dressing-room was short-lived as Stewart was caught by Luke Wells off the very next delivery when he pushed forward with uncharacteristic caution and nicked a catch to slip.

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Kent all-rounder, Grant Stewart, said: “In the first hour of play, it looked like there wasn’t a helluva lot going on but then there was a period there when it looked as though everything was going on. But Joey steadied the ship there and then Joe Denly faced a lot of balls and consolidated the innings.

“We’re probably a few short of where we want to be but we’ll fight again tomorrow and hopefully get a few more.

“It’s good to be back and Joey’s been one of our form batters, so it was nice to be out there with him and to try and feed him some of the strike.”


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