Nottinghamshire v Kent July 26-28 at Trent Bridge County Championship

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

FORMER Derbyshire opener Ben Slater hit his first LV = Insurance Championship century of the season and his seventh for Nottinghamshire since he joined them in 2019.

He  drove Kent seamer Jas Singh to the cover boundary for his shot of the day.  In his next over he punched Jas Singh straight for three to bring up his  ton from 150 balls with 15 fours in 190 minutes.  Five balls later he feathered Jas Singh through to Harry Finch.

Slater  said: “ I would have liked to have scored more runs this season so to get a century today I felt relieved and happy to get a hundred after a lean spell.  I’ve scored a couple of 50’s in the last four or five games  so I’ve never felt out of form but I’ve got a good ball every now and then.

When the bowlers get on a roll in the conditions this morning it can be very hard for the batters.  I thought Tom Moores and Steven Mullaney played well and it was nice to have Mullaney back in the middle order.

There is a bit in the pitch as there usually is here and it’s conducive to seam bowling. If we win this match it might give us some breathing space.”

After been put in on a green tinge looking pitch and mindful  that they were dismissed in their first innings last week for 100, Slater and  Haseeb Hameed  battled against Kent’s all pace attack and their 50 didn’t come until the 17th over when Slater hammered Jas Singh to the cover boundary.

Despite being in control in the first hour the closest that Kent came  to getting a  wicket was when Slater was beaten by  Jas Singh but just managed to get an inside edge to the boundary.  In Jas Singh’s next over Slater pulled him to the square leg boundary.

Former Nottinghamshire bowler Joey Evison struck with his fourth ball on his return to Trent Bridge.  He swung one back in at Hassan Hameed which kept low and hit him in line  with his leg stump.

Slater drove Matt Quinn through mid off to bring up his 50 from 70 balls with 10 fours in 85 minutes.

Indian seamer Arshdeep Singh, who bowled well in the first hour, got one to rise sharply at Kiwi Will Young who feathered it through to stumper Finch.

Joe Clarke pulled Jas Singh over deep mid wicket for the first six of the match.  With Slater, Clarke added 36 for the third wicket  before Quinn squared him up and was hit  on the knee roll.

Moores cut Jas Singh to the point boundary for one of his eight fours in his 50 which came from 77 balls, He drilled the next ball straight and instinctively Jas Singh stuck his hands out in his follow through but the ball didn’t stick.  To rub salt into Jas Singh’s wounds Moores pulled the next ball to the boundary.  Jas Singh did get his second wicket of the day when   Mullaney played across the line and was leg before after adding 83 with Moores in 26 overs.

On 16 Mullaney edged a backward push off Arshdeep Singh and it went into and out of former Nottinghamshire player Ben Compton’s hands at first slip.  The ball burst through  his hands and  into his face and left the field to add to Kent injury woes. Because of their growing injury list Kent gave debuts to onloanees Toby Albert and Ben Geddes.  Albert joins from Hampshire and Geddes from Surrey.

Kent’s Head coach Matthew Walker said: “After we’d won the toss we didn’t create quite enough pressure early on.  They were 100 for one at lunch and that wasn’t where we  wanted to be. They We didn’t use the conditions.  We dropped a couple of catches early on, fought back after lunch and then we dropped a couple after tea.

The players we have on loan are happy to show their county’s what they can do.”

Day 3

HARRY Finch top scored for Kent with 73 but his dismissal sparked a collapse as Kent lost five wickets for 23 runs in six overs.

Finch said: “I try to play the situation as best as I can but I feel that I’ve been in a nice place all season.  I don’t think that it’s a 350 pitch so it was a great effort to get as close as we did.” 

He featured in three 50 partnership’s but Kent trailed Nottinghamshire by 34 runs when they were dismissed for 316.  The first 50 partnership was with his captain Jack Leaning  as they added 54 in 23 overs.  On 17 Leaning had a slice of luck when he pulled Dane Paterson just short of the advancing substitute James Hays at fine leg and ran to the boundary. Finch squeezed Steven Mullaney through the slips to the boundary to bring up the Kent 150 and a couple of balls later a single brought up the 50 partnership with Leaning.  Finch continued: “With Leaning we had  to grind it out  in the morning.”

It was leg  spinner Calvin Harrison who broke the partnership with his second ball when Leaning pushed forward at him and bottom edged him on to   Tom Moores’ pad and looped to Mullaney at slip.

With Alex Blake they added 61, Blake, who only signed a white ball contract, drove Lyndon James to the extra cover boundary to bring up the to 50 partnership with Finch off 71 balls.

Nottinghamshire captain Mullaney took the new ball immediately it was available and Finch drove the second ball with it to the long on boundary to bring up his third 50 in three consecutive matches.  Brett Hutton broke the partnership when he swung a full ball into Blake who was leg before for 30 which   came from 35 balls with four fours and a six in 59 minutes.

His third 50 partnership was with former Nottinghamshire player Joey Evison who pulled Paterson for a six over square leg.  After nine overs with the new ball the umpires changed it.  Evison clipped Hutton off his toes to the mid wicket boundary to bring up the 50 partnership with Finch off 52 balls.

The partnership was broken in an unexpected way when Finch shouldered arms to Paterson who clipped his off bail.  Finch’s 73 came in 230 minutes off 156 balls with eight fours.

Eight balls later Evison, who looked certain to celebrate his return to Trent Bridge with a 50, fell one short off his it when he lost his off stump to Paterson.  His 49 came from 69 balls in 81 minutes with seven fours and a six.  Finch added: “I thought Evison was outstanding and looked in good form.”

Matt Quinn went for a big hit off Harrison but hit him straight into the air and substitute Hayes ran in from extra cover and just took the catch.  On seven Jas Singh sliced a drive off  Harrison and was dropped by Will Young running around the cover boundary.  Arshdeep Singh top edged a pull off the next ball and James on the boundary took an easy catch.  Arafat Bhuiyan pushed forward at the next and was leg before.  Harrison took wickets for 28.

Harrison said: “We worked hard in the first two sessions but I think the two wickets that Paterson got were  crucial.  Being a  bowler down it was vital that we pulled together as a unit and I think we did.   It was a nice time for me to come on.

I thought Ben Slater’s  batted beautifully in this game and hopefully he’ll carry this form on tomorrow and get us a nice total for us bowler’s to defend.  I think we’ll need 70 overs to bowl at them.”

Nottinghamshire got an early breakthrough on the second day when Ben Geddes chased after a wide delivery from Hutton edged it and Harrison at second slip took a comfortable catch at head height.

Leading by 34 the  Nottinghamshire openers Ben  Slater and Haseeb Hameed were hardly troubled by the Kent bowlers.  Slater drove Jas Singh to the point boundary to bring up his second 50 of the match.  He edged the next ball through where second slip should be but he had just been moved and the ball ran to the boundary.

Consecutive sixes by Young off Blake took  Nottinghamshire’s lead past 200.  At the close Nottinghamshire were 176, a lead of 210 for the loss of Haseeb Hameed who thick  edged a flash off Arshdeep Singh and Finch took a great one handed catch diving to his right.

Finch added: “We were hoping to make a few inroads tonight, we had opportunities to have them at 80 for five but we didn’t take them.   I think that the pitch is playing better.”

Day 4

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE won their first LV= Insurance County championship match since the first week in May as they beat Kent by 321 runs with over two sessions left on the final day.

Dane Paterson said: “It’s a great result, the boys have worked hard and it’s important for us because it gets us away from the bottom two.”

Needing a nominal 407 to win, Kent were blown apart by  Paterson who took five for 41 and   Brett Hutton who took four 44 who  claimed his 50th First class wicket of the season for the first time.  Paterson added: “It’s a great achievement for  Brett.  It’s good to see him get rewarded for the hard work he has put in.”

Kent started their second innings at 12.29 by lunchtime they had lost three wickets.  First to go was Toby Albert who played around a straight ball from Hutton in the third over and was bowled.  His fellow loanee Ben Geddes didn’t hang around long as  he turned Paterson off his legs straight to Ben Slater at short leg.  Paterson got his second wicket on the stroke of lunch when Ben Compton lunged forward at him and was leg before. Paterson continued: “At lunchtime we said if we could get them six down then we are into their tail.”

Hutton got his 50th First class wicket of the season  when he got Harry Finch leg before.  Finch looked amazed as he turned and saw umpire Peter Hartley’s finger up. Jack Leaning was another Kent batter who was not impressed with Hartley who gave him out caught behind off a bottom edge trying to pull Hutton.

Joyey Evison pushed at Paterson who took his outside edge and Will Young at third slip took a good low catch at third slip.  Matt Quinn hit three fours before he hooked Paterson to substitute Ben Martindale at fine leg who judged a good catch.

Hutton joined Paterson on four wickets when Alex Blake pulled him to Steven Mullaney on the deep mid wicket boundary. After hitting a six off Paterson  Arshdeep Singh tried for another off the next ball but found Hutton on the square leg boundary.

With the scoreboard showing Nottinghamshire’s over rate on minus one Mullaney brought on leg  spinner Calvin Harison on, the next over he brought on Haseeb Hameed on and with his third ball he got his first Championship wicket for Nottinghamshire when Arafat Bhuiyan smashed a full toss to Lyndon James at mid wicket.

Kent skipper Leaning said: “For three days we kept up with them but today we were blown away.  We are a young team and we did well to keep in the game for as long as we did. On the first morning we didn’t use the conditions well. In our first innings we had six scores over 30 but nobody got the big hundred that would have given us  a lead.  We are still making too many mistakes and we’ve  got to cut them out quickly or we’ll be playing division two cricket next year.  We were in the same position last year and we finished fifth.

In our second innings we were abysmal. They got a few wickets from good balls but we got ourselves out. Nottinghamshire are a good side and they showed what you can do if you use the conditions.

I thought  that  Albert and Geddes batted well  in the first innings and gave us a platform.  Evison stood up when the team was  struggling,. I think that he’s going from strength to strength but we’ve got to start learning quickly.  It’s a tough time when you keep failing but it’s sport and it will turn.”

In the morning session Nottinghamshire added another 196 in 79 minutes 60 of them came in sixes before declaring. Leading the blitz were Young, playing his last match of the season for Nottinghamshire, and Joe Clarke  who  added 114 in 13 overs. Young pulled a short ball from Leaning with disdain over mid wicket for a six.  Clarke helped a short ball from Arshdeep Singh on its way to the fine leg boundary.  On 26 He got a leading edge to Evison and the ball went up in the air finding Arshdeep Singh at mid off.  It looked like a dolly but Jas Singh dropped it.  

Young tickled Evison wide of Finch to bring up his 50 of 49 balls.  He pulled  Arshdeep Singhto the fine leg boundary to bring up the hundred partnership with  larke off 65 balls.Young pulled Quinn  to Compton on the mid wicket boundary for 87.

Clarke swotted  Arshdeep Singh over point for a six to bring up his 50 off 25 balls in 30 minutes with six fours and two sixes.  He hit another six off Arshdeep Singh when he flat batted him into the pavilion. His 40 minute innings ended when he had a swing at Arshdeep Singh and found Leaning on the deep mid wicket boundary.  His 73 came from 40 balls and included eight fours and three sixes 

Paterson added: “They set up the game by scoring quickly, they left us enough overs in the day to bowl them out. This morning when Evison bowled a good spell we thought this is good for us because we’ve four good bowlers who can use the conditions.  We always wanted 70 overs at them.

Tom Moores smashed Jas Singh bout found Blake on the long off boundary edge who managed to stay inside the boundary. Well before this, Leaning had nine fielders on the boundary.  James hit consecutive sixes off Arshdeep Singh.  The second found Albert on the fine leg boundary but he touched the boundary rope and signalled a six straight away

Play got on the final day under grey sky’s and  Young couldn’t lay bat on ball to Evison until the fifth ball when he got a single to put Slater on strike who was leg before.

As well as  Nottinghamshire scoring quickly the Kent bowlers raced through their overs and got their over rate to + one  from minus three.  Quinn finished his spell by bowling off a short run and the others raced to their marks and the fielders dashed to their positions.


July 26, 2023 9:36 am

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