Home   Canterbury   Sport   Article

Kent (407 & 146-4) draw County Championship Division 1 match with Worcestershire (618-7 dec) at Canterbury

Kent batted out the final day of their Vitality County Championship Division 1 match against Worcestershire at Canterbury to secure a third draw of the season on Monday.

Inevitably asked to follow-on having been dismissed for a first-innings total of 407, they had made it to 146-4 by the close - still 65 runs behind the visitors’ massive 618-7 declared but with six wickets still in hand.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Finch - was 48 not out in Kent’s second innings as they batted out the final draw for a draw against Worcestershire on Monday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Finch - was 48 not out in Kent’s second innings as they batted out the final draw for a draw against Worcestershire on Monday. Picture: Keith Gillard

Asked what it had taken to earn the draw, Kent head coach Matt Walker replied: “A bit of calmness and responsibility from a lot of batters, as well as a lot of concentration out in the middle there.

“That’s what it was going to take on that surface.

“There were no demons in the pitch particularly but, when you’re behind in the game, with scoreboard pressure, you know every mistake is going to be pounced on.

“Momentum can switch pretty quickly in those situations. In the end, it was pretty comfortable.

“Finchy (Harry Finch) and Deebs (captain Daniel Bell-Drummond) played nice roles there to settle the nerves after a couple of early wickets.

Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“It didn’t, really, get twitchy at any stage. We knew this pitch needed that real concentration and focus - it was a game of attrition, really.

“We showed the qualities that we needed to get through it.”

Worcestershire knew they had to take the home side’s final two first-innings wickets pretty quickly to stand a chance of forcing a result at The Spitfire Ground.

But Nathan Gilchrist and the immovable Jack Leaning batted for most of the first hour before the former was dismissed. He was caught on the leg-side boundary off a juggling Matthew Waite off the bowling of Joe Leach (3-37) for 12 from 56 balls.

Leaning was given a life by Jason Holder (0-71) as he edged Kashif Ali (2-13) through the big West Indian all-rounder for four to bring up the hosts’ 400 in the 146th over.

Kent’s first innings ended not long after, though, when Matt Parkinson was bowled by Ali for two to leave them 407 all out.

Leaning finished a magnificent 179 not out off 403 balls after a mammoth 585 minutes at the crease - a deficit of 211 runs.

The visitors got a vital early second-innings breakthrough prior to the lunch interval.

Zak Crawley narrowly avoided a fifth single-digit score in six innings when he was caught behind by Gareth Roderick off Holder (1-9) for 10 in the fourth over, with Kent 18-1 at lunch.

Just under 15 minutes into the afternoon session, fellow opening batsman Ben Compton feathered behind for 11 from the first ball of the second innings from Ben Gibbon (2-38).

Joe Denly beautifully sent his first delivery through the covers to the offside boundary, but lasted just 19 balls more and then was trapped in front by Nathan Smith (1-17).

Kent sorely needed a partnership at this stage - and had put on 68 runs by tea, with the hosts 104-3. Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond not out on 36 and Harry Finch unbeaten on 21.

Worcestershire still had plenty of work to do in the last hours of the game if they were to claim an unlikely victory - but had the perfect start to the final session. Bell-Drummond was bowled for 41 by Gibbon, with all-rounder Joey Evison the latest to be promoted to bat ahead of Leaning, managing a wrist injury sustained on day three.

Continuing to push for wickets, the visitors attempted a variety of methods.

Ali (0-17) returned to the attack shortly, batsman Rob Jones (0-1) also given the chance to turn his arm over, before the teams shook hands with Kent 146-4 at 5.07pm when a potential final 16 overs of play remained.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Finch finished 48 not out from 116 balls while 22-year-old Evison ended eight not out.

Finch, 29, said: “It was quite good fun, actually. I tried to flip it on its head and turn it into a positive situation.

“It felt like that a little bit in the first innings, as well, with the way Jack batted. It sort of had that tempo about it, striking at 40 all day. It wasn’t easy to score runs.

“It was enjoyable, but you don’t really want to be in those situations at the end.”

Worcestershire took 13 points from the game, Kent claimed 10.

The match was also Worcestershire’s first since the sad death of cricketer Josh Baker, aged 20, with both teams holding a moment of silence, followed by a minute's applause at Canterbury, ahead of the opening day.

“I thought they (Worcestershire) were outstanding in this game,” added Finch.

“Obviously, they came into this game off the back of an incredibly difficult situation - one we all sympathise with - and we weren’t actually sure how they would be this week.

“I thought they were absolutely unbelievable. Mentally, it was very emotional on that first day but, actually, the skill they showed was really good.

“They kept coming in for the whole game, so hats off to them.

“For us, that’s just a really good rearguard action. We got put under the pump from them and, to keep batting like that, that was brilliant.

“Just to reiterate, I thought they were brilliant.”

Kent will face Somerset in their next County Championship Division 1 match at Taunton from this Friday.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More