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Zak Crawley salutes former Tonbridge School mate Marcus O'Riordan as they lead Kent to victory

Zak Crawley enjoyed rolling back the years with former school buddy Marcus O'Riordan as Kent ended their red-ball season with a win.

Crawley scored a 94-ball century in the seven-wicket victory over Hampshire at Canterbury in the Bob Willis Trophy and was full of praise for O'Riordan after a match-winning partnership with his former Tonbridge School team-mate.

School mates Marcus O'Riordan and Zak Crawley produce a match-winning partnership(42181259)
School mates Marcus O'Riordan and Zak Crawley produce a match-winning partnership(42181259)

O'Riordan (52 not out) opened the batting as replacement for Jordan Cox, missing the second innings through illness, and after Daniel Bell-Drummond's early dismissal he and Crawley put Kent on the road for victory with a 157-run second wicket stand.

"It was just like old times batting with Marcus out there," said England man Crawley, who was making his one and only appearance in the one-off competition.

"We shared a lot of partnerships at school and he's always been a close mate of mine.

"We spent four years together at Tonbridge and he scored a lot more runs than me at school, in fact, I had to spend a lot of my time watching him bat.

"We were saying the whole time out there, 'this is just like old times' and whenever you're batting with someone you really get on with it settles you down and makes life a lot easier. Hopefully we have many more partnerships together."

Crawley ended his second innings on 105, trapped LBW by Mason Crane, but was full of praise for his mate at the other end.

"Marcus played brilliant to kind of take the pressure off me," Crawley said.

"Had we been losing wickets at the other end it might have been a bit more difficult. He played brilliantly and it was a match-winning knock.

"To finish not out at the end, averaging 90 for the game, his 37 in the first innings was crucial as well with Harry Podmore to get us up to 20 behind. It was a great game from him with two crucial knocks."

Kent Academy graduates Zak Crawley and Marcus O'Riordan , both from Tonbridge School, pictured with Simon Willis Picture: Sarah Ansell
Kent Academy graduates Zak Crawley and Marcus O'Riordan , both from Tonbridge School, pictured with Simon Willis Picture: Sarah Ansell

Kent's win wasn't enough to see them take top spot in South Group, which was won by Essex, but they still have a chance of silverware in the T20 Blast.

The Kent Spitfires sit top of the group at the midway stage, well positioned to qualify for the quarter-finals. They take on Sussex at Canterbury on Saturday.

"If we play well I think we will beat them," Crawley said.

"We are confident but we will take it a game at a time. We have to beat Sussex on Saturday and if we do that we are one step closer but we know we are one of the best sides in our group and as long as we play well we will qualify.

"I would love to finish well in the T20 and to win a trophy with Kent, which I feel we are more than capable of doing. It would be unbelievable and that is what I am focussing on now."

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