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Warwickshire v Kent: day two report

DARREN STEVENS: Scored the fastest half century of the day
DARREN STEVENS: Scored the fastest half century of the day

KENT’S quest to lead the championship table despite the failure of club administrators to win an ECB pitch panel appeal earlier in the day gathered momentum as they continued to out-battle and out-class Division 1 leaders Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The seeming injustice of losing eight points for what ECB inspectors deemed a poor pitch at Maidstone on the first day of June may be what sparks Kent’s aggrieved players on to victory here in the second city and with it the title-race leadership.

Having eventually dismissed Nick Knight’s reigning champions for a dogged 252, Kent reached the close and the mid-point of this four-day game on 270 for three - for a slender overall lead of 18.

In overcast conditions and on a pitch of occasional unpredictable bounce, Kent’s batsmen were made to graft hard despite a groin strain that limited Heath Streak to only 25 balls and probably no more bowling in the match.

The early loss of skipper David Fulton to a Dougie Brown leg-cutter bought together Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld for the best stand of the match to date as the in-form pair added 138 in 39 overs.

Key posted a half-century in two hours, van Jaarsveld’s taking a little longer and both seemingly had sights set on three figures before the intervention of Ian Bell.

Bowling his slow-medium dobbly-dob from the Pavilion End he trapped Key leg-before with a shooting off-cutter then, 11 balls later, had van Jaarsveld spectacularly caught at slip by Jonathan Trott off one that lifted and left the right-hander.

Home skipper Knight permed his seven fit bowlers for the remaining 41 overs of the day, but no one could dislodge fourth wicket partners Matt Walker and Darren Stevens who posted a century stand in 110 minutes to take Kent into the lead.

Stevens, who has now passed 500 runs for the season, was Kent’s third half-centurion of the day and the quickest reaching the landmark in 88 minutes and with 10 fours.

Tenacious left-hander Walker, who has also moved quietly to the threshold of 500 runs for the campaign, moved to within five of joining Stevens, Key and van Jaarsveld at the 50 milestone come the close.

Earlier in the day Warwickshire’s tail continued to wag as they batted on for a further 70 minutes to take their side up to a surprise second batting bonus point.

Neil Carter and Heath Streak posted a new ninth wicket record stand against Kent worth 97 in 26 overs before Streak went leg before to a Simon Cook shooter for 51.

It was the Zimbabwean’s first half-century for Warwickshire since his debut last season.

Carter continued to make the most of some wayward Kent bowling by doubling his run tally for the season with a hard-hit 82 that ensured Warwickshire’s last four wickets added 200 runs.

Justin Kemp, having just been hooked for a six, finally ended Carter’s stay with a floating full-length ball that snared the left-hander leg before as he heaved across the line.


Warwickshire first innings

N V Knight b Khan 8
M J Powell c van Jaarsveld b Cook 49
I R Bell b Khan 1
I J L Trott c O’Brien b Cook 0
A G R Loudon c O’Brien b Cook 14
J O Troughton c O’Brien b Hall 1
D R Brown c Kemp b Khan 10
T Frost c Kemp b Stevens 23
H H Streak lbw b Cook 51
N M Carter lbw b Kemp 82
N A Warren not out 2
Extras 11

Total 252 all out after 84 overs

Fall of wicket: 1-8, 2-10, 3-13, 4-34, 5-39, 6-52, 7-114, 8-116, 9-213.

Bowling: Khan 18-4-69-3, Cook 23-5-79-4, Hall 24-12-39-1, Stevens 11-3-33-1, Kemp 5-1-24-1, Patel 3-1-4-0.

Kent first innings

D P Fulton c Trott b Brown 6
R W T Key lbw b Bell 75
M van Jaarsveld c Trott b Bell 62
M J Walker not out 66
D I Stevens not out 45
Extras 15

Total 270 for three after 86 overs.

Fall of wicket: 1-7, 2-145, 3-154,

Bowling: Streak 4.1-3-8-0, Brown 19-3-45-1, Carter 12.5-6-61-0, Bell 11-5-32-2, Trott 10-2-22-0, Warren 10-1-51-0, Loudon 17-6-36-0, Troughton 2-0-5-0.

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