A gap in the international schedule meant that Kent would virtually be hosting an England team in their quarter final. Of the 11 players in the Yorkshire team, 6 are current England players and another 4 have been involved in the England set up. In spite of an impressive set up at Kent this would be a hard team to beat.
Kent captain Sam Northeast won the toss and elected to bowl, amongst the superstars of Yorkshire it was Adam Lyth who made his mark, making 88 runs in the 125 minutes he batted. Joe Root added 45 and Gary Ballance 37 but other than that Kent restricted the runs. Adil Rashid scored what would be a very valuable 24 runs in the final overs taking the Yorkshire total to 256 for 9. Matt Coles was the top performer with the ball taking 3 for 39 in his 10 overs.
As an Essex member and fan, one of the reasons I enjoy watching Kent is the batting line up, in particular Daniel Bell Drummond, Sam Northeast and Sam Billings, each a match winner on his day. This wasn’t to be their day, they scored 26 between them, with the captain making 23 of those runs, not a good day at the office.
However all was not lost for Kent, Joe Denly had made 31 runs, but Kent were 66 for 4 after 17 overs. Enter Kent stalwart Darren Stevens and Alex Blake; the pair put on 86 valuable runs. Blake made his 50 before being caught by Jonny Bairstow from the bowling of David Willey. Stevens made 54 before being caught and bowled by Liam Plunkett, Kent had moved on to 180 for 6 making the target of 257 reachable they just needed to keep their wickets intact.
I am going to confess that I was hollering along with the Kent fans around me, I just can’t seem to help myself when I’m watching sport of ant description, I yell at good play. I must remember not to do that as and when a goal’s scored against West Ham!
Will Gidman befell the same fate as Stevens with 19 to his name, before we had a controversial dismissal, Matt Coles who’d scored 2 mighty 6’s was deemed to be stumped by Bairstow from the bowling of Rashid. The officials took an age to decide and from where I was sitting it didn’t look beyond doubt, it was judged that Coles had lifted his foot at the key moment. But, he was out, after adding 22 runs to the total, could the ‘tail enders’ get the runs required?
An LBW decision each for Willey (James Tredwell) and Rashid (Charlie Hartley) saw Kent all out for 245 in the 48th over, falling short by a mere 12 runs. A thoroughly enjoyable game of cricket setting up a semi-final between Yorkshire and Surrey, where Surrey would win to take their place in what should be a great final against Warwickshire.