Sports editor Oscar Frost reports on Warwickshire’s dismantling of Kent in their second LV= County Championship match this season

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.

Warwickshire took home victory over Kent in their first home game of the season after the seam attack dislodged a resilient Kent lower order. Despite losing four sessions to poor weather, the Bears defeated Kent by an innings and 14 runs with just 12 overs left to play on the final day. 

The return of England international Chris Woakes to the Warwickshire side only deepened a seam attack that is proving to be one of the most dangerous in the LV= County Championship. The sharing of the wickets throughout both the first and second innings was illustrative of the fact that any of the seamers are able to take wickets.

The second inning was really where Warwickshire took a stranglehold on the game, with the seam attack dismissing Kent for a measly 158. The spitfires never really seemed to get going, as Daniel Bell-Drummond top scored with just 40 runs.

After enforcing the follow-on, the Bears were able to dislodge Zak Crawley before the end of day 3, putting the Spitfires under pressure early on. The England international scored just 26 runs across the two innings, failing to contribute to his side to any great extent.

Kent were then reduced to 7-99 after the removal of Matt Quinn, Bell-Drummond, Jack Denly, Jack Leaning, Jordan Cox and Sam Billings in quick succession. Cox was the only one of these batters that was able to make it to double digits. 

There was a stand from opener Ben Compton and Joey Evison that almost put a spanner in the works for Warwickshire securing the win. However, once Compton was caught at first slip by Rob Yates after wafting at a delivery from Rushworth, the match swung back into Warwickshire’s favour. 

Evison was the final wicket to fall, dismissed for 99. A stellar knock from a lower order batter, but not quite enough to see Kent through to a draw. 

New faces Chris Rushworth and Hasan Ali finished the match with five wickets each, with Woakes also taking five across the two Kent innings. Oliver Hannon-Daley also took two wickets in each inning, with Chris Rushworth chipping in with a wicket in the first inning.

This was all made possible, however, by a fantastic batting performance from Warwickshire in their first inning. Declaring at 453-4, the Bears were in a fantastic position to push on for a follow-on, and the eventual victory. Yates opened the batting and was able to produce his first century of the season, before being caught by Leaning for 128 runs. 

“We set up the game really well on the first day by batting really positively,” commented Bears first team coach Mark Robinson

We set up the game really well on the first day by batting really positively

Super Sam Hain was also able to top-score the whole match, with a superb 158 not-out. Despite being snubbed for a player of the week nomination by the LV= County Championship, his form has been incredible to kick-start his season. 

Dan Mousley also chipped in with a 94 run effort that saw him caught at long-off after trying to dispatch Leaning down the ground. 

Overall, this was a dominant performance from Warks, defeating a Kent side whose only opportunity to avoid a loss was to attempt to bat out the final day against the Warwickshire bowling attack. The depth and firepower in this attack is exciting for West-Midland cricket fans, as Warwickshire now top the LV= County Championship table with 35 points. The Bears will take on Surrey at home next, which kicks off on the 27th April. 

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