Kent take control at Edgbaston
Kent take control at Edgbaston

Kent continue to prosper at Edgbaston as Ollie Robinson became their second home-grown youngster in successive days to score a century in their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire.

After Bromley-born 21-year-old Zak Crawley scored a fluent 108 on the first day, Ollie Robinson, a 20-year-old son of Sidcup, followed up on the second with his maiden first-class ton.

In only his eighth first-class innings, Robinson’s composed 143 (228 balls, 22 fours) eclipsed the 95 runs he had collected in the previous seven and lifted his side to an imposing 504 for nine declared.

It was a very impressive response from Kent to the disappointment of defeat plucked from the jaws of victory in their opening game at Somerset last week. They then made strong progress towards turning that hefty total into a victory when, on an excellent batting track, they reduced  Warwickshire to 84 for three.

The home side closed the second day on 136 for three, still 229 short of the follow on figure, and have plenty of batting to do if they are to avoid defeat in their first game back in the top division.

After Kent resumed on the second day on 367 for five, they lost Darren Stevens (23, 41 balls). lbw offering no shot to Henry Brookes, and Harry Podmore lbw to Ryan Sidebottom, in the morning.

But Robinson found a resolute partner in Matt Milnes and the eighth-wicket pair added 84 in 26 overs before the latter (28, 81 balls, five fours) perished in bizarre fashion. Sweeping at Jeetan Patel, he survived an lbw appeal only to be adjudged out caught after the ball looped off the back of the bat to slip.

When Robinson finally fell, stumped off Patel, Kent declared. They left the home side 21 overs to bat before tea and struck twice in that time as Will Rhodes bottom-edged a wide long hop from Darren Stevens to the wicketkeeper and Liam Banks edged Milnes’s first ball to third slip.

Dominic Sibley and Sam Hain added 48 in 16 overs before the latter edged Milnes behind. Without Ian Bell, who is ruled out until June by a foot injury, Warwickshire were left leaning heavily on Sibley. Having been guilty of a couple of expensive dropped catches, the vice-captain owed his team some runs and he dug in to reach the close on 60 from 158 balls while Adam Hose reined in his usual aggression for an unbeaten 29 from 65 balls.

Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel said:

“It was a tough day yesterday and today Kent added to the fine work they did. You can’t knock the way they played. As a bowling unit, we weren’t consistent enough. Yes, we beat the bat and created chances but in between that we weren’t as potent as we would have liked.

“I was pleased with the way the guys went out tonight in really tough conditions, especially late on. To be three down after 56 overs after spending 130 overs in the field was a good effort.

“We have got a lot of improvements to make, especially with the ball, we know that, but there are some very good signs. Brookes, Sidebottom and Miles, when he got it right, bowled well and there are certainly some things we can look forward to.”

Kent wicketkeeper/batsman Ollie Robinson said:

“When you are 60 not out overnight you always go to bed and think ‘I’m only 40 away’ but then you have to go back in on a new day and start as if you are on zero.

“It is a lovely pitch to bat on but there are always spells when the bowlers bowl well. Ryan Sidebottom bowled really well today and Henry Brookes bowled well. It’s just a case of getting through those patches and cashing in later on when the ball is older and the bowlers get a bit more tired.

“It was one of those innings where it was a bit stop-start. It wasn’t really a fluent one but that’s when you have to sit in and wait for those bad balls because you are not going to get bad balls every over in Division One cricket. It’s not going to be easy.

“It was just relief when I got to the century, just to have proved to myself that I can do it. It was a nice occasion and to have dad here as well made it extra special.”