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Kent's Ollie Robinson sees maiden first-class century as reward for hard work

Ollie Robinson believes his maiden First-Class century is evidence of his dedication to honing his craft behind-the-scenes.

The 20-year-old hit 143 with 22 fours against Warwickshire to help lay the foundations for his side’s first Division 1 win since 2010.

It marked just his eighth First-Class innings for the club, with his top score prior to Friday having been 26 on his debut against Leicestershire in August 2018.

Matt Walker
Matt Walker

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“It was amazing,” Robinson admitted. “It was nice to finish with a good score in the game having not scored that many in the past.

“I worked really hard this winter, first going away for four or five months in Australia and then in South Africa as well. To start the way I did was a reward I think for how hard I really have worked.

“I felt good at Somerset the week before and got out pretty softly, it was nice, everything clicked and the pitch was nice.”

His display vindicated head coach Matt Walker’s faith in him having been entrusted with the gloves ahead of Adam Rouse in the opening two games of the season.

Robinson added: “I absolutely love it, it’s nice to be shown belief that they want me to do it (keep wicket).

“Last year I played as a batter, to be shown that they want me to keep as well is really nice. I’ll play wherever I’m wanted really.”

Robinson believes the victory at Edgbaston has dampened low pre-season projections from outsiders of Kent’s top-flight chances.

He said: “I don’t think people expected much of us this season, a lot of the predictions have been for us to go back down so we’ve silenced a few people there. I don’t think we’ve really had the recognition we deserve.

“We had to fight really hard, especially to get those last three wickets, some teams may not have fought as hard as we did, then to chase down the score was great.

“We dominated the game in Somerset, it goes to show if you have one bad session you get punished. The win shows how much belief we have and how hard we work together, it shows how quickly we can come back as well.”

Kent’s conviction with the bat was well supplemented by the bowling display, with Harry Podmore finishing with figures of 8-123 having registered a five-fer in the hosts’ second innings.

Robinson said: “Harry bowled amazingly well, four-day cricket is about taking wickets so to take 20 wickets from that pitch was a very good effort.”

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