Last wicket
20th Jun 2018 Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells
Specsavers County Championship Division Two 2018
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Kent
Kent
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Warwickshire
Warwickshire
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ECB Reporters Network
20th June 2018

Championship Report: Warwickshire at Kent

The Bears travel to Tunbridge Wells to take on second placed Kent at the Nevill Ground.

Day One: Tea

Keith Barker took 5 for 32 as Specsavers County Championship Division Two leaders Warwickshire tumbled second-placed Kent out for 197 at Tunbridge Wells to take an early advantage in this top-of-the-table contest.

Joe Denly’s classy 59 was the best Kent could offer after being put in on a pitch offering some assistance to the seamers. But Denly became one of Barker’s victims in the left-armer’s superb mid-afternoon spell of 4 for 13 in 5.1 overs.

Kent, on 104 for 4 at lunch, fell away from 174 for 6 after Denly nibbled at Barker and was caught at the wicket after facing 116 balls and hitting seven fours.

Barker then bowled Matt Henry for 2, and had both Harry Podmore and Ivan Thomas leg-before for 22 and 3 respectively.

In the first session a third wicket stand of 51 between Denly and Heino Kuhn hinted at a Kent recovery from 15 for 2 but then Kuhn was leg-before to Oliver Hannon-Dalby for a bright 39 and Zak Crawley was almost immediately lbw to the same bowler for a second-ball duck.

Darren Stevens made 27, adding another 51 with Denly, before being fifth out when he edged Chris Wright to second slip.

Kent v Warwickshire

It's first versus second in the Bears next Specsavers County Championship match of the 2018 season, when they take on Kent at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, starting on Wednesday 20 June.

For further ticket and event details, please visit the Kent website.

Kent CCC Website
Mat Collis
19th June 2018

Warwickshire’s County Championship in numbers

Warwickshire’s flying start in the County Championship has been based on solid contributions throughout.

Sat atop the division, the Bears lead Kent, who they play on Wednesday (20th), by 24 points following four wins and a draw from the opening five games.

That’s a staggering total considering Jeetan Patel has been incredibly unlucky by losing four consecutive tosses after the uncontested Edgbaston season opener against Sussex.

With the bat, there’s four Bears in the top 15 standings of Division Two.

Ian Bell, who is sixth overall in county cricket, leads the way with 454 runs in nine innings at an average of 75.66.

The number three batsman also has the second most fours in the county game with 68 and following his centuries in consecutive innings against Glamorgan, Bell currently has first-class tons against 14 counties with only Leicestershire, Northants and Yorkshire needed to complete the set.

Following Bell is Tim Ambrose who struck scores of 81, 103, 40 and 78 in his first four innings and has an average of 55.83.

The ‘keeper has also been invaluable behind the wickets after taking 22 catches so far this season at an average of 4.4 a game. Therefore with nine games remaining, Ambrose would finish on 62 catches, which would be the third highest in a first-class season for Warwickshire and 14 short of Geoff Humpage’s 1985 record which saw him awarded Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

Will Rhodes (1 100, 2 50s), who needs 16 more to reach 1000 first-class runs and Jonathan Trott (three 50s) round off the list.

With the ball, Henry Brookes is leading Warwickshire’s wicket standings on 20 although Kent’s Matt Henry is leading the division on 43.

Jeetan Patel, who currently sits on 777 first-class wickets, also has 20, whilst Olly Stone has the second best average in the game (three innings) on 12.4, 1.36 behind Henry.

Kent v Warwickshire

It's first versus second in the Bears next Specsavers County Championship match of the 2018 season, when they take on Kent at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, starting on Wednesday 20 June.

For further ticket and event details, please visit the Kent website.

Kent CCC Website

Patel can’t wait for Kent clash

Jeetan Patel can't wait to lead Warwickshire into their mouth-watering top-two clash with Kent in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two at Tunbridge Wells tomorrow.

The Bears will arrive at Nevill Road seeking to protect a 24-point lead over second-placed Kent.

Patel's side has won four of the first five games while Kent have won three of five and were denied a fourth victory only by a dogged rearguard action by Gloucestershire at Bristol last week.

"Kent have had a good start in the championship and are flying in the Royal London Cup so they will be full of confidence. "But so are we."

Jeetan Patel

With the weather set fair for the week, all the ingredients are in place for a match to savour for Patel, his team and the plenty of Bears fans who will no doubt travel to the lovely venue.

"Kent have had a good start in the championship and are flying in the Royal London Cup so they will be full of confidence," the captain said. "But so are we. We have played some very strong red-ball cricket this season and last week's win over Glamorgan was very pleasing.

"It was a great reaction to the disappointment of going out of the 50-over comp. That knocked us for a couple of days but the guys dusted themselves and fought out a really good win which really showed their qualities. Again there were contributions from a lot of players which has been the theme this year."

Warwickshire have needed contributions from many players as they have moved clear at the top of Division Two despite having to withstand a number of injury blows.

Fast-bowler Olly Stone remains sidelined with a side-strain while this week the Bears will have to make a change further up the order as Sam Hain is away on England Lions duty.

"We are delighted that Sam has got the call-up," said Patel. "One of our objectives is to produce players for the England set-up and Sam fully deserves to be in the Lions' squad.

"He will be missed but it will just give someone else in our squad an opportunity and so far this season everyone who has come in has seized their chance and contributed to a victory."

Warwickshire are aiming to improve their dire record at Tunbridge Wells. In ten championship visits they have recorded just one win and suffered some resounding defeats including their third-heaviest ever, by an innings-and-294-runs.

Patel has no such baggage regarding the lovely Nevill Road venue, however, having never been there.

"I've googled it and asked the guys who have been there to get some idea what to expect," he said. "It is always exciting to play at a new ground and I am really looking forward to it, especially as it's between two in-form teams. I know how much all our guys are looking forward to it."

Kent v Warwickshire

It's first versus second in the Bears next Specsavers County Championship match of the 2018 season, when they take on Kent at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, starting on Wednesday 20 June.

For further ticket and event details, please visit the Kent website.

Kent CCC Website
ECB Reporters Network
2nd April 2018

Opposition Overview: Warwickshire vs Kent – Specsavers County Championship 2018

Kent Overview

Specsavers County Championship: Division 2 (2017 performance 5th)

Royal London One-Day Cup: South Group (2017 performance 8th)

Vitality Blast: South Group (2017 performance 6th)

Captain: Sam Billings.

Vice-captain: Joe Denly

Head coach: Matt Walker

Assistant coach: Allan Donald

Director of cricket: Paul Downton

Overseas Players: Matt Henry (New Zealand) for SCC & RLODC). Adam Milne (New Zealand), Marcus Stoinis (Australia) for Vitality Blast

Ins and outs. In: Kuhn, Henry, Milne, Stoinis, Harry Podmore (Middlesex). Outs: Adam Ball, Hugh Bernard, Charlie Hartley, Wayne Parnell, Jimmy Neesham, Yasir Shah. Sam Northeast (Hampshire), Matt Coles (Essex).

Man on a Mission

Sam Billings. The new skipper has a lot on his plate in attempting to improve Kent’s domestic displays, whilst aiming to nail down his own berth in England’s white-ball squads. He possesses undoubted talent, but, at 26, his lop-sided career is in danger of passing him by after almost two seasons ‘carrying drinks’ on the England fringes. With 30 England caps and over 200 career appearances in white-ball cricket, Billings has yet to play his 50th first-class match for a county team badly in need of his skills and leadership.

One to Watch

Sean Dickson. A latecomer to the county circuit, the 26-year-old opening batsman already boasts a brace of first-class triple centuries and a double hundred to boot. South Africa born to a mother who hails from Kent, Dickson has planted deep roots in the Garden of England and is already a popular and hugely determined member of the county’s top-order. A steely right-hander with a fascination for technique, consistency will be the keyword for 2018 as Dickson looks to post his maiden 1,000-run season, improve on his first-class average of 37.91 and force his way into Spitfires’ one-day squads.

Local Hero

Darren Stevens. Dubbed as Kent’s answer to Benjamin Button, Stevens continues to be the fulcrum to Kent’s fortunes. Though he turns 42 on April 30, the Leicester-born all-rounder has become a Canterbury cult hero since leaving the East Midlands in 2004. He often opens the bowling in four-day cricket and has taken 421 first-class wickets – only six of which came for The Foxes. His explosive batting has also matured beyond the ‘pretty cameos’ of youth, making Stevens a dependable middle-order finisher in all formats, while his canny ‘dibbly-dobblers’ continue to frustrate much younger opponents.

Prospects for 2018

Despite losing two of their leading players in captain Sam Northeast and strike bowler Matt Coles, to Hampshire and Essex respectively, Kent have recruited quickly and strongly during the winter leaving supporters with cause for greater optimism.

A close season backroom re-shuffle has also seen the elevation of Ben Green to CEO and the return of ‘prodigal son’, Paul Downton, the county’s former wicketkeeper, in a newly-created post of director of cricket. Having suffered visa issues last summer, Allan Donald, the ex-South Africa firebrand, has also finally taken up his role of assistant coach to work alongside Matt Walker and with a brief to improve the county’s plethora of young, if underachieving pace bowlers.

Though new skipper Billings will miss the start of the campaign through Indian Premier League commitments, he has a worthy deputy in Denly, the club’s player-of-the-season for 2017, who has also excelled throughout his winter stints at the Big Bash and Pakistan Super League, as well as throughout Kent’s overseas matches in the West Indies Super 50 competition based in Antigua where, encouragingly, the Spitfires reached the semi-finals.

Kent will be bolstered for the entire summer by the arrival of new Kolpak signing Heino Kuhn, the South Africa Test batsman, and Kiwi firebrand Matt Henry, who has signed to play the first seven four-day games and the Royal London One-Day Cup qualifiers. Adam Milne (New Zealand) and Marcus Stoinis (Australia) will arrive mid-summer for Spitfires’ Vitality Blast campaign.

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Live scorecard

The match live scorecard will appear here once the match is in play.

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Kent Squad

  • Zac Crawley

  • Sean Dickson

  • Adam Rouse

  • Will Gidman

  • Oliver Robinson

  • Grant Stewart

  • Daniel Bell-Drummond

  • Samuel Billings

  • Alex Blake

  • Adam Riley

  • Darren Stevens

  • James Tredwell

  • Ivan Thomas

  • Mitchell Claydon

  • Calum Haggett

  • Matthew Hunn

  • Imran Qayyum

  • Joseph Denly

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