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MATCH UPDATES - KENT V MIDDLESEX

6 months ago | Matches

DAY THREE - CLOSE OF PLAY

Match Result - Kent win by 342 runs

Kent - 20 points

Middlesex - 3 points

Kent out-foxed and out-boxed Division 2 rivals Middlesex in the Specsavers County Championship pink ball game in Canterbury to land an emphatic 342-run win with five sessions to spare.

Having resumed on 22 for two in their second innings, the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 102 runs inside a session in the face of a career-best bowling return of six for 36 by their former Middlesex team-mate Harry Podmore.

In pursuit of a gargantuan and highly unlikely victory target of 467 against a Kent side unbeaten since the first round of the championship campaign, Middlesex buckled for the second time in three days – but this time under blue skies rather than dewy gloaming of their first night collapse.

The visitors second innings malaise continued from the 12th ball of the day when Sam Robson chased a wide out-swinger from man-of-the-match Grant Stewart and edged to substitute fielder Adam Riley at fourth slip to make it 27 for three. Nine on, and without a run to his name, Dawid Malan fenced at one from rushing across him from Podmore to nick to the keeper.

Stewart took his match-tally to eight by removing night watchman Ravi Patel to another catch in the cordon after a miscued back-foot force, then Podmore, who only joined Kent in the close season, darted one down the slope to snare Hilton Cartwright flush in front and leg before when prodding half-forward.

Podmore, 23, clinched his maiden first-class five-for when left-hander John Simpson feathered a lifting leg-cutter through to the keeper and, in his next over, the Hammersmith-born right-armer accounted for George Scott to a regulation catch at slip.

Ivan Thomas replaced Stewart at the Pavilion End to have James Fuller pocketed in the cordon and, after some lusty late hitting, Tim Murtagh heaved at one from Thomas to lose his off stump as Kent wrapped up their win 10 minutes before lunch.

After collecting the pink ball from the umpires as a memento, Podmore said: “The victory is the main thing and it was awesome. It was very convincing and the fact that it was against my old side didn’t make any difference to me, you still have to perform, no matter what’s set in front of you.

“We bowled well throughout the game. Obviously, we enjoyed a couple of twilight periods to bow at them, but even in the day we bowled well. I got a couple of four-fors last week at Tunbridge Wells and probably tried too hard for a fifth, but it was brilliant that it came today.

“It shows what a good spot we’re in as a squad for Grant to come into this game and bowl and bat the way he did. Then Ivan and Calum put their hands up too, it shows we have good depth to the squad and that we’re all in a great place going into Saturday’s final at Lord’s.”

It was the heaviest margin of defeat in matches between these two counties beating the 265-run reverse of Middlesex to Kent at The Mote, Maidstone, in 1938. And while a lot will be made of Kent having the best of conditions in this experimental day-nighter, they out-batted the opposition no matter the time of day. Their young attack – even without leading wicket-takers Matt Henry and Darren Stevens – also looked far more hostile and threatening with the pink Dukes ball than their Middlesex counterparts.

Kent banked 20 points from a fifth win in seven championship starts that cements their place in the promotion places, while Middlesex travelled home with only three points and having been out-gunned on all fronts.

Disgruntled Middlesex head coach, Richard Scott, described the pink-ball championship round as a “farce” and called on the ECB to call time on the experiment. He said: “I can’t give you an objective view as to whether we played well or not if I’m honest. I was asked to do a survey with Tony Pigott, the ECB cricket liaison officer, about the ball and the conditions we played under, and I had to say they were total alien.

“We are guinea pigs, the whole championship system is being used for an experiment. This hasn’t been a fair game of cricket because it was very much dependant on the toss. The feedback we’re getting, and it’s universal from around the country, from players and coaches, is that that they don’t like it and it should end. It’s a farce.”

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - CLOSE OF PLAY

Kent - 281 all out

Middlesex - 22/2

Kent all-rounder Grant Stewart blasted a maiden first-class century from only 71 balls to leave Middlesex with a mountain to climb at the mid-point of their pink ball Specsavers County Championship clash with Middlesex.

Stewart, who starred with the ball by taking a career-best six for 22 to help dismiss Middlesex for 56 in their first innings, clattered 13 fours and five sixes as Stewart and last man Ivan Thomas added 100 for Kent's 10th wicket – to which Thomas contributed a single.

Stewart’s lusty 103, in only his fifth first-class game, was the highest ever individual county championship score by a Kent player batting in the No10 berth, beating 91 by Wykeham Cornwallis [The 3rd Baron Cornwallis of Linton] against Essex at Canterbury in 1926.

Facing a mammoth victory target of 467, Middlesex eventually got to bat again in the twilight at 8.35pm and at almost the same time that their top-order unravelled under the lights the previous evening.

They made a disastrous start to the 10 overs through to stumps when Max Holden feathered Harry Podmore’s third delivery to the keeper to go without scoring, while Stevie Eskinazi fenced at a spiteful lifter and edged to second slip off the same bowler to go for five.

Sam Robson and night watchman Ravi Patel saw it through to stumps on 22 for for two to reduce the victory target to 449 going into the third day of four when Kent will scent warping up their fifth win of the campaign.

Having finally dismissed Middlesex for 56, with Stewart picking up the visitors’ final wicket of Tim Murtagh, Kent opted to pile on the runs by batting again instead of enforcing the follow-on. A decision fully vindicated once Stewart hammered his belligerent ton late in the day.

Though overhead conditions appeared ideal in sunny daylight hours, Kent again found batting a perilous pastime against the pink Dukes’ ball. Sean Dickson prodded half forward with bat tucked in, to lgo bw to a James Harris off-cutter, as did Bell-Drummond, after playing across Murtagh’s off-cutter that jagged back up the slope.

Joe Denly batted 40 minutes for two before his patience snapped with a loose, mistimed drive against Hilton Cartwright that picked out extra cover.

Middlesex bowled well to pick up five Kentish wickets in the mid-session. Heino Kuhn reached a 76-ball 50 – his fourth of the championship campaign and the first of the match – only to depart to a contentious catch behind the stumps when jabbing down late on a full ball from Murtagh.

Murtagh then pegged back Billings’ off stump as the Kent captain shouldered arms. The 78-minute stay for 29 represented Billings’ highest score for the county this season.

Adam Rouse perished lbw after being struck below the right knee-roll by Cartwright, Calum Haggett nicked off to slip against Ravi Patel then, just before tea at 6.55pm, Harry Podmore went worked across the line to Cartwright to become.

Zak Crawley’s stay ended in a stumping off Patel early in the final session, but Grant Stewart’s agricultural late hitting tipped the balance firmly in Kent’s favour and left Middlesex in deep trouble.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - TEA

Kent 170/8

Kent extended their lead in the pink ball Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex in Canterbury beyond 350 as they went into tea at 6.55pm on 170 for eight.

Middlesex bowled well to pick up five Kentish wickets in the mid-session, but once again face the challenge of batting under the lights in a repeat of the first night’s tricky twilight conditions.

Having dismissed Middlesex for 56, Kent were batting again by 2.15pm after Sam Billings declined to enforce the follow-on despite banking a 185-run first innings lead.

Despite seemingly ideal overhead conditions, Kent again found batting a perilous pastime against a pink Dukes ball in the capable hands of experienced Middlesex seamers Tim Murtagh and James Harris.

Heino Kuhn and Sam Billings had seen the home side through to lunch with a lead of 264 and soon after the resumption Kuhn reached a 76-ball 50 – his fourth of the championship campaign and the first of this match.

The South African fell seven runs later when adjudged caught behind when jabbing down late on a full ball from Murtagh, who struck again two overs later, pegging back Billings’ off stump as the Kent captain shouldered arms to go after batting 78 minutes for 29 – his highest score for the county this season.

Adam Rouse, Kent’s first innings top-scorer with 42, might have gone without scoring but saw Dawid Malan down a tricky chance at second slip off James Fuller. The Kent keeper reached 20 when he too went lbw, struck below the right knee-roll, by the first ball of a new spell by Hilton Cartwright.

Calum Haggett became only the second batsman in the game to fall to spin when he prodded a catch to slip off Ravi Patel, then Harry Podmore exited lbw when working across the line to Cartwright.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - LUNCH

Middlesex - 56 all out

Kent - 79/3

Kent continued to dominate Middlesex on day two of their pink ball Specsavers County Championship match in Canterbury where the hosts went in at lunch on 79 for three and an overall lead of 264.

Having dismissed Middlesex for 56, Kent were batting again by 2.15pm after Sam Billings declined to enforce the follow-on despite banking a 185-run first innings lead.

However, despite seemingly ideal overhead conditions, Kent also found batting tricky against a pink Dukes ball in the capable hands of experienced Middlesex seamers Tim Murtagh and James Harris.

Daniel Bell-Drummond got off the mark by gloving a Murtagh leg-cutter through the slip cordon and to the ropes at third man, while Sean Dickson third man took 20 minutes to get underway with a back-foot punch through the covers against Harris.

Dickson departed in the next over from Harris with addition to his four runs. Prodding half forward with bat tucked in, he went lbw to an off-cutter that thudded into his front pad.

Daniel Bell-Drummond also went leg before, playing back and across his stumps to a Murtagh off-cutter that jagged back up the Canterbury slope to hit the right-hander’s pads flush in front.

Joe Denly batted 40 minutes for two before his patience snapped with a loose, mistimed drive against Hilton Cartwright that picked out Murtagh at extra cover, leaving Heino Kuhn (38*) and Billings (17*) to see the home side through to lunch.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - CLOSE OF PLAY

Kent - 241 all out

Middlesex - 54/9

All-rounder Grant Stewart scored a useful 38 and recorded career-best bowling figures of five for 21 as Kent dominated the opening day of their ‘pink ball’ Specsavers County Championship clash with Middlesex in Canterbury.

The visitors, who started their reply to Kent’s 241 all out at 8pm, limped in at stumps at 9.50pm on 54 for nine and having found no answer to Stewart’s right-armed swing on a day when 19 wickets fell.

Playing only his third game of the summer and the fifth of his first-class career, Stewart - an Australian-born cricketer with an EU passport courtesy of his Italian mother, Anita - transfixed the visiting top-order with a stunning display of swing bowling that left them trailing by 187 going into day two.

Middlesex lost opener Sam Robson in the second over when he feathered Stewart’s away-swinger to first slip, but soon after - and only four days after the summer solstice - the low sun stopped play for seven minutes when batsman Max Holden complained at being dazzled.

Ten runs later and Holden was dazzled once more when losing his off stump to a hooping in-swinger from Stewart, who produced a near identical in-swinger forcing Dawid Malan to defend the line of off stump only for the left-hander to edge to slip for a third ball duck.

Grant ended Stevie Eskinazi’s stay to a catch at third slip then Harry Podmore, bowling against his former county, made it 44 for five by having Hilton Cartwright snaffled at slip.

Grant completed his maiden five-wicket championship hall with a beauty that pitched on middle and clipped George Scott’s off stump and gave way to Ivan Thomas who, with his sixth delivery rushed one through the gate to rearrange James Harris’s stumps.

In the day’s penultimate over Calum Haggett produced a lifting leg-cutter to have John Simpson caught behind then, with the final delivery of the day, Thomas beat Ravi Patel for pace to clatter leg stump.

Batting first after winning the toss – Kent, unbeaten in the county championship since the first round of games – made three changes to the side that beat leaders Warwickshire in a thriller at Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.

Kent rested leading championship wicket-taker Matt Henry and veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens, while off-spinner Adam Riley was omitted after going wicketless in Kent’s two previous red-ball outings.

Sam Billings returned to skipper the side as a specialist batsman, Adam Rouse retained his place behind the timbers and seamers Haggett (back) and Stewart (hamstring) both returned from injury.

Middlesex were also forced into numerous team-changes and were without seven potential starters after injury and international calls; Eoin Morgan (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Nick Gubbins, Tom Helm (both England Lions), Steven Finn (knee), Toby Roland-Jones (spinal stress fracture).

After winning the toss the hosts struggled against the swing and bounce of the pink Dukes ball suffering their first loss in the eighth over when Sean Dickson played across a straight one from Harris to go leg before.

Heino Kuhn, who was presented his county cap at lunch, was, for once, guilty of tossing his wicket away by clipping a loose drive against Cartwright to short extra cover.

Daniel Bell-Drummond played down the wrong line to go lbw Cartwright as five more went in the mid-session when, but for a stirring eighth-wicket stand or 51 in 10 overs between Rouse and Podmore, their plight would have been even bleaker.

Having scratched around for almost an hour for 17 Billings mistimed a back-foot force against Tim Murtagh into the hands of Cartwright at short extra cover then Zak Crawley played inside a James Harris away-swinger to lose off stump.

Joe Denly, Kent’s leading championship run-scorer, fenced one he might have left to second slip and James Fuller collected a second when Haggett prodded to the tumbling keeper John Simpson and Podmore’s 31-ball cameo ended with a smeared drive to mid-off taken by substitute fielder Tom Barber.

After the players took tiffin at 7pm and with the floodlights on, Stewart leg-glanced one from Harris to the fine-leg ropes to raise Kent’s 200 for their first batting bonus at Canterbury since early May.

Top-scorer Rouse went for a gritty 42 when nicking a wide one from Fuller to the keeper then, after some lusty hitting, Stewart skied a return catch to Fuller to go for 38.

Fuller finished with four for 83, while Harris and Cartwright bagged two apiece as a profligate Middlesex attack leaked 30 extras.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - TEA

Kent - 193/8

Kent’s travails against the pink ball continued on a hard, bouncy Canterbury surface as the promotion-chasing hosts stumbled in to their 7pm tea interval on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex on 193 for eight.

Having gone to lunch on 93 for three in this day/night four-day match Kent, who are seven runs shy of mustering their sixth batting bonus points of the summer, lost five more in the mid-session to hand the initiative to a Middlesex attack without several of its first-choice members.

But for a stirring eighth-wicket stand between Adam Rouse (32*) and Harry Podmore (32) that added 51 in 10 overs, Kent’s plight would have been even bleaker.

Having hung around for almost an hour for 17 scratchy runs Sam Billings mistimed a back-foot force against Tim Murtagh into the hands of Hilton Cartwright at short extra cover to make it 99 for four.

Zak Crawley played inside a James Harris away swinger to lose off stump, then acting captain Joe Denly – the club’s leading championship run-scorer – fenced outside off at one he might have left alone and toe-ended a low catch to Dawid Malan at second slip.

James Fuller picked up a second scalp when Calum Haggett prodded at one bowled from around the wicket only to snick off to the tumbling Middlesex keeper John Simpson.

After clubbing seven fours in his 31-ball cameo of 32, Podmore smeared a drive to mid-off against Ravi Patel to be caught by Tom Barber, the 12thman.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - LUNCH

Kent - 93/3

Kent’s top order struggled against the pink ball by losing three wickets in the first session of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Middlesex in Canterbury.

Despite ideal overhead conditions for batting, the home-top order found the going tough as the pink ball seamed and swung on a hard, bouncy pitch as they went in at lunch on 93 for three after 28 overs at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Batting first after winning the toss, Kent, unbeaten in the county championship since the first round of games, made three changes to the side that beat Warwickshire by 73 runs at Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.

After struggling against the seam and bounce from the Pink Dukes ball, Kent suffered their first loss in the eighth over of the game when Sean Dickson (5) played across a straight one from James Harris to go leg before.

Having got off the mark with an uppercut for six over backward point, Heino Kuhn was – for once – guilty of tossing his wicket away by clipping a loose drive against Hilton Cartwright toMx Holden at short extra cover.

With only 59 on the board Daniel Bell-Drummond went for a hard-earned 17 when be played down the wrong line to Cartwright and departed once umpire Yeshwant Barde, standing in the third and last of the ECB’s exchange programme between Indian and county championship umpires, raised his finger for the second time in the session.

Leading championship wicket-taker Matt Henry and Kent veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens were rested while off-spinner Adam Riley, was left out after going wicketless at The Nevill.

Sam Billings returned to skipper the side as a specialist batsman, meaning Adam Rouse retained his place behind the timbers. Seamers Calum Haggett (back) and Grant Stewart (hamstring) both returned from injury in a possible head-to-head bowl-off for the final place in the Spitfires’ attack for Saturday’s RLODC final at Lord’s.

Middlesex were once again forced into numerous team-changes after injury and international calls led to the loss of six players; Eoin Morgan (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Nick Gubbins, Tom Helm (both England Lions), Steven Finn (knee), Toby Roland-Jones () .

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.

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Related fixture

Mon 25 June
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence
Start Time: 14:00
Duration: 4 days

Kent Kent
Middlesex Middlesex

Kent won by 342 runs