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Kent’s Harry Finch on talking about wicketkeeping with Ben Foakes, his viral stumping to dismiss Lancashire batsman Keaton Jennings and helping Kent to a County Championship draw against Worcestershire

Harry Finch has revealed how a chat with England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes helped inspire his viral stumping in Kent’s County Championship Division 1 win at Lancashire.

Finch helped Kent to victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Old Trafford earlier this month when he pulled off an extraordinary leg-side stumping to dismiss Keaton Jennings.

Kent wicketkeeper Harry Finch. Picture: Keith Gillard
Kent wicketkeeper Harry Finch. Picture: Keith Gillard

The 29-year-old then ensured Kent backed up that win as they battled for a draw against Worcestershire at Canterbury after the visitors posted a huge first-innings 618-7 declared, which included more than 150 overs behind the stumps for Finch.

He guided his side to the close on Monday’s final day with an unbeaten 48 - but it’s his glovework which is still sparking social media interest.

“Last year was my first year of keeping wicket,” said Finch, who was able to pick Foakes’ brains during Kent’s heavy loss to Surrey at Canterbury last month. “I really surprised myself with what happened (at Lancashire). I’ve just been working really hard on it.

“Nick Wilton - the keeping coach here - day in, day out, I’ve just been practising with him and trying to get better.

“I had the chance to chat with Ben Foakes a couple of weeks ago when we played Surrey. I sat down with him in the canteen for 20 or 25 minutes. That was amazing.

‘Hopefully, he’s full of them’

“We had a proper chat about keeping - what he does, what he looks to do - and the next game I played, I got that stumping. So obviously, it helped!

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s just another way to try and get in the game, and impact the game. It’s just trying to find that balance between my keeping and my batting.”

Now Kent’s first-choice red-ball wicketkeeper, the career of Finch - out of the professional game four years ago - continues to go from strength-to-strength.

He said: “I’m in quite a unique position, where I’ve sort of been kicked out of the game and then worked hard to get back in it.

“I don’t know how much longer I can play for - it could be another two years, it could be another 10 years - who knows?

Harry Finch put on a second-innings 77-run stand with captain Daniel Bell-Drummond to help steer Kent to a draw at home to Worcestershire on Monday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Harry Finch put on a second-innings 77-run stand with captain Daniel Bell-Drummond to help steer Kent to a draw at home to Worcestershire on Monday. Picture: Keith Gillard

“I’m just in a space where I really want to enjoy my cricket, try and help Kent win games of cricket, and see where that takes it.

“You’re going to have bad days, you’re going to have good days. Don’t get me wrong, I have my times where I sulk as well, but I definitely am trying to have the perspective that I’ve been fortunate enough to get a second chance and I’m just going to try to make the most of it.

“They (his team-mates) are such a great group of lads.”

Against Worcestershire on Monday, Finch arrived at the crease in Kent’s second innings with the team in trouble at 36-3 - but put on 77 alongside skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond (41) to steer their team towards a draw.

He noted: “It’s always good batting with Deebs.

“The main thing for me was keeping the intent up and actually just keep trying to score. If we could get past them, that was going to drag the game out a little bit longer.

“He (Bell-Drummond) looked in a really good space. He probably wasn’t at his best and still ended up getting 40-odd.”

Finch was also one of Jack Leaning’s many first-innings partners during his marathon 179 not out.

“That was fantastic,” Finch, who added 26 with Leaning amid a 67-run stand, said. “If you’ve been watching the last two or three games, that score has been coming.

“He’s looked really good in the last two or three games, starting to look back to how he was last year and that score was just always going to come. It was so impressive how he stuck to the game-plan all day.

“From a personal note, I was pretty frustrated with how I got out in the first innings. I was trying to force it and it wasn’t that sort of wicket to try and do that.

“It was about trying to stay patient and waiting for the ball to come into your area. Jack did that.”

Finch’s 48 not out was his highest score for Kent since an opening-game half-century against Somerset.

But he said: “I actually feel like I’ve been in really good touch.

“I’ve sort of found ways to get out. This game, I felt a lot better - sort of back to how I was feeling at the back-end of last year - but, for me, it’s about still learning.”

Ironically, Kent will now take the trip to Taunton for their next red-ball game which will start from tomorrow.

But Finch predicts a very different test, with a different ball now in use after the Kookaburra ball was used in early-season games and a much greener surface expected.

“We have already played them once in a Kookaburra game - although I think it’ll be a pretty different game,” he noted. “We have got an idea of what we might get there.

“But hopefully, it’s been sunny so it might be a slightly better pitch than the Essex game that they had there. We will be prepared for anything.

“It might be a two-day game, it might be one that goes four days. Last year, we played on a bit of a green-seamer, so we will just have to see what it is.

“Obviously, it’s a Dukes ball this time rather than a Kookaburra, so we will see how we go.

“But our bowling attack is really shaping up nicely.”

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