Shaky Start to the Season for Kent

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By Daniel White on 5.5.2023

Shaky Start to the Season for Kent

Erratic would be a good word to describe Kent’s start to the season in both the County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 respectively.

Looking to bounce back from the disappointment of relegation from the first division of the County Championship last year; Kent started off their 2011 campaign in winning fashion against fellow Division 2 new boys Essex on Friday 8th April. In a very tight game that went to the final day in Chelmsford, Robbie Joseph, so often struggling with injury over the last few years, took 3 quick wickets to halt the possible Essex comeback and seal a victory by 57 runs. The other notable performance was by Sam Northeast in the first innings, who struck an excellent 112, containing 2 sixes and 10 fours, after Kent had been reduced to 140-7.

However, Kent has since failed to build on this encouraging first performance, falling to consecutive defeats against Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire respectively. The defeat against Northants was a particularly crushing defeat, by an innings and 159 runs to be exact. Northants ripped the Kent bowling apart, including England spinner James Tredwell to total a massive 480 in their first innings, mainly thanks to their Captain Andrew Hall, who eventually departed for 146 off 297 balls. Kent in reply failed to get anywhere near the total, especially in the second innings with a terrible score of 119 all out, as only Tredwell emerged with any credit with a score of 35.

Kent’s first one-day game in the Clydesdale 40 competition couldn’t prevent their losing streak continuing either as they fell to a narrow defeat against Worcestershire on Sunday 1st May. Martin Van Jaarsveld hit a run-a-ball 81 in Kent’s only noticeable batting contribution as they totalled 232-8 off of their 40 overs. In reply, Worcestershire never looked in real trouble, despite winning with only 3 balls to spare as both Vikram Solanki and Alexi Kervezee passed half-centuries to win by 6 wickets.

Yet only the following day, Kent claimed their first one-day victory of the season after an emphatic 8 wicket victory against the previously unbeaten Middlesex. Once again it was Van Jaarsveld who led the way with a quickfire 85 containg 7 fours and 3 sixes. He was able supported by the young, but supremely talented Northeast with an unbeaten 63, as Kent surpassed Middlesex’s total of 176 with 9 overs to spare.

Man of the match Van Jaarsveld said after the game it was a “with a lot of young guys in the set-up, it’s a great feeling to get the first win under our belt”

Despite this confidence boosting victory, it is clear to see where Kent’s current problems are found. So far this season, they have yet to total more than 247 in any one innings, thus missing out on precious batting points in the County Championship, in what is shaping up to be 2 very tough competitions for the Spitfires this season.



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