Published: 09:05, 13 June 2018
| Updated: 13:22, 13 June 2018
Matt Walker was proud of the way his team gave everything to try and force a win against Gloucestershire in Division 2 of the Specsavers County Championship.
Kent drew the match in Bristol and came agonisingly close to victory needing just three wickets by the end of day four.
Walker’s side were in control from the start and, after posting 582-9 declared in their first innings, spent more than 220 overs trying to bowl Gloucestershire out twice.
Walker said: “It was always going to be a hell of a challenge on that wicket. It was a bowlers’ nightmare as it didn’t offer any assistance during the game.
“I haven’t seen energy and attitude like that in a group of players for a very long time.
“They threw everything at it from the first ball to the very last and the standard was truly fantastic.
“To top it off with a win would have been great and in the end we were left a bit frustrated but as I said to the group after the game, that hunger, attitude and togetherness would go far.
“They can walk away with their heads held high as they played some fantastic cricket.”
Sean Dickson (117) and Joe Denly (107) scored centuries for Kent as they posted the mammoth score of 582-9 declared. There was also half centuries for Darren Stevens (89), Adam Rouse (55) and Harry Podmore (53).
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Walker said: “People are in a good place and confident after scoring some runs in the 50 over competition.
“It was nice to see an opening partnership of over 100, then turning two of those starts into hundreds and significant scores from others as well.
“For Sean to get his first 100 of the season was pleasing and Joe to continue his form was fantastic. Harry Podmore has great desire to become an all-rounder and showed signs of what he can do.”
Kent had seven sessions to try and bowl Gloucestershire out twice to get their fourth win in a row.
Matt Henry took 6-58 as they bowled them out for 240 in the first innings.
Following on, they managed to bat out until the end of the fourth day finishing on 322-7 with wickets coming from Podmore (2-55) and Denly (2-79).
Kieran Noema-Barnett proved to be a thorn in Kent’s side scoring 73 not out and 42 not out.
Walker added: “To bowl them out like we did in the first innings was great and gave ourselves enough time in the game to bowl them out again.
“There was always a chance. The message from the start was to throw everything at it and keep the energy and spirits high.
“The pitch got better, slower and flatter as the game went on so we knew to pick up those 10 in a day we knew would be tough but what an outstanding effort from the group.”