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Head coach Matt Walker says Kent gave themselves an uphill task

By Josh Fordham

Matt Walker said Kent gave themselves too much to do after getting bowled out for 64 in their first innings of their defeat to Gloucestershire at Canterbury.

They lost the match by five wickets after fewer than six sessions of play in the rain affected match, which saw no action on the first day.

Kent picked up three points from the opening Specsavers County Championship match of the season in Division 2.

Kent head coach Matt Walker.Picture: Andy Jones

Walker said: “Disappointment is the overall feeling. Any first game of the season in any competition you want to start well but it hasn’t happened.

“You are left scratching you head a little bit when you get bowled out for 64 without looking at them as excuses; we were a little bit undercooked in pre-season.

“Batting on that wicket first, it had a lot of wet on it in the last two or three weeks, they bowled very well and we batted poorly and indecisively. The combination of all of that led to a disappointing first innings.

“When you get bowled out for that total it is hard to win games of cricket from there. I thought we bowled well and we managed to keep ourselves in the game.”

Daniel Bell Drummond on his way to a score of 61. Picture: Chris Davey

Kent amassed just 64 in their first innings, top scored by Zak Crawley on 15, with their innings last 18.5 overs. The pick of the Gloucestershire bowlers was Matt Taylor on 4-20.

In reply, the visitors were bowled out for 110 with debutant Matt Henry taking 4-33. Gareth Roderick hit 51, one of only three half-centuries in the match.

Daniel Bell-Drummond’s 61 in Kent’s second innings was the top score of the match as the home side were bowled out for a second time. Ryan Higgins rattled through the Kent batsmen taking 5-22 to bowl them out for 153.

Gloucestershire were set a target of 108 in their second innings and chased it down with five wickets remaining.

Matt Henry took another three wickets to give him match figures of 7-70.

Kent's fielders attempt to put the pressure on the visitors. Picture: Chris Davey.

Walker said: “Matt has fit in really well and he has been a very easy player to manage. He has been at home right away and has become a part of it very quickly. I thought he bowled well and showed his quality and led the attack well.

“As a group I thought we bowled well and I was really pleased with the openers Matt and Darren Stevens.

“Had we scored even 100 more runs, it would have made a huge difference coming into that last innings of the game.

“We have got to have a plan so we can grit out a competitive first innings score.”

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