Kent cruise to Worcestershire win
Kent cruise to Worcestershire win

Kent defeated Worcestershire by an innings and 56 runs on day three of their latest Championship match in Canterbury.

With the Spitfires needing just four wickets for victory, all four seamers struck, with Matt Milnes, Grant Stewart, Darren Stevens and Nathan Gilchrist dismissing the remaining batsmen just before lunch to secure Kent’s second win in a row in this phase of matches.

Worcestershire began the day 169 runs behind Kent’s first innings total with just four wickets in hand, with Ed Barnard (10) and Ben Cox (2) at the crease.

Nathan Gilchrist opened the bowling for the day and beat the bat in the opening over, before Ed Barnard scored the first runs of the day with a neat cover drive for four when Matt Milnes overpitched.

Milnes responded though just after. After an ambitious LBW appeal was turned down, the Kent seamer wrapped Ben Cox on the pads and the umpire lifted his finger, leaving Kent requiring just three more wickets for victory.

Barnard and Joe Leach provided some resistance with a 50 partnership, but Grant Stewart struck for Kent to dismiss Barnard for 44 – a handy innings, but not enough in the circumstances.

Darren Stevens took out Josh Baker’s off stump as Kent edged ever closer to victory, but Leach continued to battle the visitors. The win was confirmed however when Nathan Gilchrist found the edge of Dillon Pennington’s bat and the Spitfires registered a monstrous victory, winning by an innings and 56 runs, taking 23 points from the match.

Their next game will begin on Sunday, when the team travels to Derbyshire.

Kent’s Grant Stewart said: “At the start of the season it didn’t go quite to plan so it’s been in the last two weeks to put a few things right. We had a bit of a chat before the last game saying that we wanted to make a bit of a statement. Last week at Leicestershire dragged out a bit longer than we would have liked, but on a pretty docile wicket at times, it was nice to wrap it up in the first session. It’s been nice to put a few performances on the board and be a bit more respectable in the four-day competition. 

“We had pretty favourable conditions on day one but as a group you speak about the old classic, bowling in partnerships and not trying too much as the wicket flattened. Sometimes you can chasing a few wickets towards the back end of an innings so we just kept doing the same stuff.” 

Worcestershire’s Alan Richardson said. “Joe (Leach) and Ed (Barnard) especially showed some real good character. That was asked for at the start of the day by Joe and he led by example brilliantly, but it was ultimately too little too late really. We got ourselves into a situation where we were so far behind the game it was always going to be a real struggle. 

“The guys have played enough cricket to know that you’re going to have ups and downs. It’s trying to show that consistency so we don’t get too carried away when we win a game and also don’t get too down when we lose.”