Saturday, 23 May 2015

Taking stock after Kent loss

Kent 235 (Coles 66, Norwell 4-44) and 243 for 2 (Denly 117*, Northeast 88*) beat Gloucestershire 193 (Handscomb 69, Coles 3-49) and 282 (Marshall 83, Thomas 4-53) by eight wickets

In theory, losing at home to perennial strugglers Kent is a terrible result. Especially given our last two county championship outings had ended in excellent victories away from home. What's worse, we conceded 88* to Sam Northeast and an unbeaten century to Joe Denly (last first class ton, May 2012).

Not great, right? It may not be that bad after all. One half of the Jessop Tavern View was at Lords on Thursday for the first day of the New Zealand series (also Day 4 at Bristol). England slumped to 30-4, before recovering to post 354-7 at the close of play, once the new ball was seen off and the pitch showed its true and placid nature. This theme continued as New Zealand batted through most of Friday and are still going strongly on 400+ as we write this on Saturday afternoon.

At Bristol, Kent were set 241 after Matt Taylor departed to the first ball of the day. They lost two early wickets, with Miles having Bell-Drummond pouched by Dent in the slips and then Aussie West Indian Brendan Nash caught behind in the much-improved Liam Norwell's first over.

From then on, things got easier, as Kent consolidated and reached 88-2 at lunch. After the lunch break was a different story, as the ball softened and Denly and Northeast opened up and began to play their shots. Denly went to his hundred from 179 balls and by then it was game over. Both men were still there at the end, having put on a match-winning 208 from just under 53 overs.

So there you have it. The pitch flattened out on the final day and a smallish target was chased down with relative ease. Disappointing, yes, but equally not the end of the world. Denly's career has stalled in recent years, but he remains a good player and Northeast is also a decent Division 2 bat.

So after 5 championship games, Gloucestershire sit in a creditable 4th place in Division Two and just 4 points behind second-placed Northants. Sunday sees our third t20 game v Essex and the return of (now just one- day and T20) skipper Maxi Klinger after an excellent domestic season Down Under.

Depending on how much of a glutton for punishment you are, you can watch highlights from the rest of the match below.

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

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