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Heino Kuhn scores successive one-day centuries for Kent at Beckenham

By Matthew Panting

Kent coach Matt Walker applauded new recruit Heino Kuhn after back to back centuries.

Kuhn followed up his 117 against Surrey by smashing 113 in Sunday's Royal London One-Day Cup win over Gloucestershire at Beckenham.

The 34-year-old has played four Test matches for South Africa and seven T20 internationals - and that experience is already having a positive effect on and off the field for Kent.

Heino Kuhn on his way to a century for Kent against Gloucestershire at Beckenham. Picture: Keith Gillard
Heino Kuhn on his way to a century for Kent against Gloucestershire at Beckenham. Picture: Keith Gillard

"He has brought a real calmness, experience and fun element to the dressing room," enthused Walker. "He is quite quiet but has blended in like a dream.

"We said at the start of the winter that our recruitment policy needed to change a little bit, we've picked on character more than ability if that's fair.

"Obviously we want to pick good players and we knew what a good player Heino was. More than that, we wanted good people around the place. he has fitted in really well and is loving his life here, he is really enjoying his time with us.

"He has fitted into our family and that's what we're trying to create at Kent, where everyone feels part of it.

"He was picked for South Africa so we know he's a good cricketer. I know people will look at his international record and he didn't play very much but as a domestic cricketer in South Africa he has churned the runs out for years in all formats.

"He knows his game inside out, not only is it great helping us win games of cricket, it's great for young players to watch him go about his business and learn how to build an innings.

"He is not someone that's going to stand there and smash the ball out of the park but he just scores at a click. He is a very clever player, just manipulates the ball beautifully, knows his areas where to hit the boundaries.

"He has been a fantastic addition so far and we'll see a lot more runs scored by him."

Kent made it five wins in a row against Gloucestershire, limiting the visitors to 322-8 on a belting track at Beckenham with an impressive fielding performance before a perfectly timed chase built around centuries from Kuhn and Joe Denly.

Walker praised the control of spinner Imran Qayyum, who returned 0-52 from nine overs and displayed great control in the middle of the innings alongside Darren Stevens (2-43).

"What is really good news is that we're putting in all-round team performances and last year we didn't do that," added Walker.

"We batted well and bowled poorly, and then when we did bowl well we batted poorly. That was a common theme for us, now we're putting in all-round performances in the three departments, fielding, batting and bowling.

"We didn't quite bowl as well as we have done but when you're bowling on a wicket like that it is bloody tough, it's hard to find some answers sometimes.

"I'm really pleased to see Imran take his opportunities in the last couple of games. He is obviously frustrated he hasn't played but he is very precise about his research and preparation and it's paying off.

"He is learning how to bowl in one-day cricket. These two games at Beckenham where it's not easy to bowl as a spinner will go unnoticed but I think he has been outstanding actually."

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