Friday, 23 August 2013

A long road ahead for England/the 'Shire

Gloucestershire 80 for 0 trail Kent 474 (Stevens 126, Harmison 106, Key 53) by 394 runs

Gloucestershire are facing something of a mountain to climb after two days of toil in the field at Canterbury. You know it's a flat deck when Ben Harmison gets a hundred against you and that's exactly what happened on Day 1. This was followed today by a ton for the ICC's favourite, Darren Stevens and some late order runs which boosted the Kent total to a healthy 474 all out.

Glos will be disappointed to have allowed such a bottom-heavy batting card, having reduced 2nd from bottom Kent to 46-3 and 113-4 on Day 1. The attack did ok, but the change seamers Payne and Norwell again went for more than 4 runs per over each, which considering they bowled 49 overs between them is a lot of runs to ship. What we find disappointing is that if 18 year old Craig Miles is capable of going for under 4 an over in his first full season, why are Norwell and Payne, both now beyond rookie status, not capable of 'bowling dry' as well?

It says a lot about the others that Benny Howell's military medium was required for 19 overs as well. Tom Smith managed only 7 overs for 15, which doesn't say much for either the pitch or Klinger's confidence in our latest spinner.

There were more positive signs when Glos batted, with Corporal Klinger and Chris Dent continuing their nascent opening partnership and taking us to 80 without loss at the close. A lot of batting is required to see us to safety and beyond and you would say that only two results are likely at this stage of the game, a draw or a Kent victory.

On the plus side, some time has already been lost to rain and the weather forecast isn't looking that promising for the next two days.

In many ways this game has mirrored the 5th Test at the Oval. Lose the toss and witness the opposition rack up almost 500, with hundreds from a perennial underachiever and a dasher with a unorthodox technique. Then face some tricky overs before the close on Day 2. the only difference is that the Aussies have Nathan Lyon whereas Kent only have James Tredwell. On second thoughts, these matches are identical!

Video Highlights from Day 2:

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