Yorkshire v Kent May 6-9

Yorkshire v Kent at Headingly May 6-9

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1
BEN Coad took three wickets on his return to first team action after missing the last three matches because of injury.

Yorkshire captain Steven Patterson put Kent into bat after winning the toss and had an immediate success getting a wicket with the last ball of the first over.  Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond gave Coad his first wicket off after he had to play at him, and got a thick edge to Harry Brook at third slip who took a routine catch.  Bell-Drummond had drilled the first ball of the match to the cover boundary.

Having taken his first in his first over he had to wait till his 16th over for his next.  Oliver Robinson clipped Coad off his straight to Jordan Thompson at short  mid wicket.

Robinson who came to the crease in the 59th over looked like he was going to repeat his knock in 2019, the last time  he played at Emerald Headingley, when he hit 97. His innings was a typical gutsy wicket keeper innings.  He took the fight to Yorkshire and readily accepted the challenge to hit the Yorkshire bowlers to the boundary. Reputations mattered for nought as he threw everything at a short ball from Duanne Olivier and edged him over the slips to the third man boundary.

10 balls after dismissing Robinson, Coad got his third wicket of the day, the ever youthful and dangerous Darren Stevens. Yorkshire should have got rid of Stevens before he had scored but he was dropped by Brook at third slip, a tough chance low to his left. The last time Stevens  played at Emerald Headingley he hit 237 which made his case for a new contract.  So the last thing Yorkshire wanted to do was drop him before he had scored.  Fortunately for Yorkshire it didn’t turn out to be an expensive drop. On nine he nicked Coad to give Jonny Tattersall a routine catch

After the early  loss of Bell-Drummond, Jordan Cox and Zac  Crawley played calmly were looking comfortable. Cox. Their partnership lasted over an hour but Yorkshire got a second wicket when Cox pushed at Patterson and edged him to Adam  Lyth who took a low catch at second slip.

Kent were now looking on the dependable Joe Denly to steady the innings with  Crawley but Denly was soon back in the hutch for another single figure score.  Thompson drew Denly into a drive but he got an outside edge to it and gave Lyth a comfortable second catch.

On 28, a nervous looking Crawleywho has yet to score a century this season survived a good leg before appeal off Dom Bess. When he added another 10 runs all three slips and the keeper were convinced he had feather touched an inside edge of Thompson.

After the loss of four early wickets Kent needed a partnership and someone to stick with Crawley.  That someone turned out to be former Yorkshire all-rounder Jack Leaning.  Crawley pushed Patterson out in the covers to bring up his fifty off 113 balls with seven boundaries.  He opened the face of his bat to Thompson and ran him down to the third man boundary to bring up the fifty partnership with Leaning.

After cutting Patterson to the point boundary to take him into the nineties, Crawley tried to chip Patterson but got a leading edge to Joe Root at  short cover. His 90 was his best score of the season so far.  Crawley and Leaning were two short of their century partnership. 

Leaning was playing against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley for the first time, in his previous first two innings against Yorkshire he hasn’t got off the mark so could he get some runs at the home of Yorkshire cricket.  He was very circumspect to start with and it took him 35 balls to hit his first boundary,when he drilled Coad to the cover boundary.

He shared in the two big Kent partnerships of the day.  After adding 98 with Crawley, he put 62 on in 19 overs with Robinson.  But Leaning fell three runs short off his fifty.  His 191 minute innings in 153 balls ended when he  chased a wide half volley from Brook  but instead receiving another boundary he top edged it to Lyth at slip who took a low catch.

Yorkshire captain Patterson said: “With the amount of bounce, carry and excessive seam movement last week, we felt bowling would be the right choice. As it turned out, the pitch was very different, it was a lot slower and lower. 

It was hard work. We started well, kept it dry for a long period of time – going at two an over. At 60 for three, we felt if we could get them 90 for five we’d be on top. But, in fairness, Crawley and Leaning played nicely. 

I said last week I thought 260 on that pitch would be par and this is better. I’d say more 280 is par score on there.”

Day 2

BOTH Gary Ballance and Harry Brook hit their best scores so far this season in the LV Insurance County Championship as they shared a fourth wicket partnership of 102 in 30 overs.

The partnership put Yorkshire in a strong position in the match after a shaky start to the second day.  They added on to the  hard work done by Joe Root and Ballance who made batting look easy and the energy levels from the Kent players evaporated as the pair regularly found the boundaries.   Marcus O'Riordan in particular was guilty of allowing Root too much room to play his shots. Buoyed by Root’s innings  Ballance showed all his shots he even swept O’Riordan fine to the fine leg boundary.  At the close Ballance was unbeaten on 91.

Ballance said: “Both Root and Brook were really positive and scored quickly, as they always do. It was quite nice sitting up the other end watching them play nice shots whilst I nurdled it around! That’s what we talk about  to bat in partnerships. So it’s a good feeling today.

It looks like the weather will play a part but we can’t control that. You never know, we might get a bit of cricket in tomorrow. We just have to get a first-innings lead and see where that takes us.”

On 39 Root survived a leg before appeal by Matt  Quinn which ended with Quinn doing a backwards roll in despair.  Kent eventually got Root when he was strangled down the legside by Oliver Robinson to give Quinn his first wicket for Kent.

After Root’s departure the runs came easier for Brook and Ballance.  Brook perfectly timed a drive off Darren Stevens  to the cover boundary to get Yorkshire their first batting point.  He turned Quinn off his legs for a single to bring up his first Championship fifty of the season which came from 65 balls 

Ballance flashed hard at Nathan Gilchrist for a four just wide off a diving Zac Crawley in the gully. Two balls later Ballance brought up the hundred partnership which came off 180 balls with Brook. It ended ungainly when Brook was leg before to Gilchrist as he fell over.  Tattersall replaced Brook and looked to play for stumps, he pushed forward at Joe Denly and Robinson dove forward to take a low catch and demolished the stumps in the process.

Kent spinner O’Riordan said: “We’re pretty happy. The seamers bowled really consistently, and we got our rewards.  Those late wickets have given us a sniff with the new ball coming up tomorrow morning. That’s a time where we can make a move. To sneak a lead would be nice.

Our coach Matt Walker spoke to us before the game, particularly about Alan Igglesden, former Kent and England bowler, saying that he’d be here today. That gave us a bit more perspective about what it means to play for Kent.”

Earlier in the Yorkshire innings when Miguel Cummins came back into the attack his second and third balls were no balls and Ballance despatched the first no ball  for a six over mid wicket and the second to the cover boundary.

Play on the second morning started 10 minutes because of morning rain and Yorkshire got the first wicket in the eighth over of the morning when Jordan Thompson bowled Gilchrist through the gate after adding six to his overnight score.

After getting hit on the helmet by Duanne  Olivier, Cummins decided to bat by standing and delivering, he hit a big four and two balls later he hit the ball miles in the air but only got two for it. In the next over he hit Steven Patterson for a six over mid wicket. He broke his bat in the process and hit  the first ball  with his replacement bat in the same place.  Cummins pulled the next ball for a boundary as the partnership raced to 41 in seven overs.

Cummins got an outside edge to Dom Bess that ran for a couple to third man which brought  up the fifty partnership with O’Riordan from 65 balls in 50 minutes.

Yorkshire broke the partnership when O'Riordan chopped on to Olivier for 40. His partnership with Cummins had added 58 in 13 overs.  The innings was over in the next over whe Quinn playing his first match for Kent on loan from Essex tried to force Bess off his back foot and gave Bess a return catch. Cummins was unbeaten on 28, his highest championship score so far.

In Yorkshire’s reply Adam Lyth drove Stevens in the second over but sliced it and was dropped at point by Denly.  Lyth must have thought it was his day when Stevens angled one across Lyth who edged it but it fell short of the slips.  Then Lyth filicked Stevens off his legs over the mid wicket boundary for a six. But his luck ran out when he got underneath one from Stevens and the ball went miles in the air and eventually Cummins at deep min took the catch.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore  fished at one from Stevens and was fortunate not to edge him to Robinson his poor form continued when he dragged Gilchrist on to his middle stump to give Gilchrist his first Championship wicket for Kent.

Day 4
YORKSHIRE leap Roses rivals Lancashire to go top of Group 3 of the LV Insurance County Championship by one point.

After rain washed out Saturday’s play and a wet outfield prevented play on Sunday’s morning session, play got underway at 2.40 on the final day with 47 overs to bowl, in the end we got 31 overs before the match ended as a draw at 5.20.

With only bonus points to play for Yorkshire managed to get three batting points but they failed in their attempt to get four batting points and Kent got three bowling points.

After three overs Kent took the new ball immediately it was available and at first it looked like Yorkshire would score quick runs.  Darren Stevens bowling with the new ball dropped one short and Gary Ballance smashed it to the mid wicket boundary.

At this point Yorkshire were in pole position, Ballance was four runs off hitting his first century for the club since 2019 then they hit a roadblock.  In the sixth over after the restart Dom  Bess opened the face of his bat and ran Matt Quinn to the backward point area and set off for a single. Both Bess and Ballance hesitated and set off again but Ballance was unable to beat O’Riordan’s direct hit.

With the runs drying up, Yorkshire had only scored 16 runs in 15 overs, Bess missed one that moved a bit and lost his off stump to Stevens.

Still Yorkshire couldn’t break the  Kent shackles.  After taking 23 balls to get off the mark, Jordan Thompson hit two fours in four balls off Miguel Cummins.  Yorkshire captain Steven Patterson top edged a slash off Nathan Gilchrist to give Oliver Robinson an easy catch and headed off for tea.

After tea the Kent bowlers tactics to Thompson, Ben Coad and last man Duanne Olivier were quite baffling. The three Yorkshiremen backed away from Gilchrist and Cummins but instead of bowling straight the three Kent bowlers kept following the batsmen and they took advantage and got some easy runs.  Coad wasted no time in overtaking Thompson in only 17 balls whereas Thompson had faced 40 balls for 18. Thompson drove at Gilchrist but didn’t move his feet and edged him to Robinson.

Again the bowlers preserved with their tactics.  At 4.56 the Umpires took the players off the field because of rain but they were soon on losing only six overs. Then the penny dropped for Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond.  He replaced Gilchrist with former Yorkshire spinner Jack Leaning forcing the batsmen to hit the ball with force instead of guiding the ball and Olivier couldn’t resist having a big heavo and found Marcus O’Riordan at long on.

Kent seamer Gilchrist who took four 74  said: “It’s been good after a tough start to the season. We’ve shown some real character this week. If it wasn’t for the rain, we could have had a really positive week. There were some positive performances. Hopefully we can build on that going forwards.

“It’s only my second game, so I’m still trying to find my feet. But it’s very pleasing to get a few wickets.”

While Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale said: “I thought we bowled nicely in this game and had them on the rack for a while before they had a good partnership at the end of their innings.

We batted nicely and picked up a few more batting points. We have spoken about that a lot, and that was a positive. Gary Ballance back amongst the runs as well. Overall it was a frustrating few days with the weather, but there were still some positives we could take.”



May 7, 2021 9:40 am

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