Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Kent CCC early season summary

As T20 World Cup fever sweeps the nation, it’s the domestic form which has seen Kent County Cricket Club’s most success in the opening months of the season writes Matthew Kiernan.

Thanks to seven wins out of a possible ten, Kent topped the Southern division and booked their place in the quarterfinals, with guaranteed home advantage.

The 2007 winners and last year’s runner’s up, racked up home and away victories against Hampshire, Middlesex and local rivals Surrey as they cruised into the knockout phase.

Their latest victory came at Beckenham, where got the better of a beleaguered Surrey side by 16 runs.

Meanwhile in the four day format, it was fundamental for Kent to get off to a good start, with the heartache of relegation from the LV County Championship top flight last year undoubtedly still in their minds.

And that’s exactly what they did, thanks to two victories and two draws in their first four encounters.

The pick of their wins came at Chelmsford with a crushing defeat of Essex by 192 runs.

But when Essex made the return trip to Beckenham they would exact revenge and inflict upon Kent their first defeat of their 2009 division two campaign. They currently lie in fourth position with a game in hand.

However, in the Friends Provident Trophy, a fifty over competition, Kent were to enjoy less success after being eliminated in the group stages.

After opening the tournament with a heavy defeat at the hands of Somerset, the Spitfires then set themselves up nicely with three victories in a row.

Off spinner James Tredwell took 6-27 as Kent overcame Middlesex by six wickets, before opener Joe Denly amassed an unbeaten 97 to record an impressive win over Scotland.

Their third victory was largely thanks to former South African International Justin Kemp who’s quick-fire 45 from 52 balls guided Kent home against Warwickshire.

From thereon, the Spitfires couldn’t live up to their high standards and suffered three losses and a draw to miss out on qualification for the knockout stages.

Published in Bromley Life Magazine