Kent facing uphill Canterbury battle
Kent facing uphill Canterbury battle

A record-breaking eighth-wicket stand by centurions Danny Lamb and Luke Wood put Lancashire in a dominant position at stumps, on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury.  

Both batsmen hit career-best innings before the visitors were finally dismissed for 525. Lamb made a flamboyant 125 and Wood produced a composed and almost chanceless 119 as they put on 187 for the eighth wicket, both a Lancashire record and a record for the St Lawrence ground. 

Wood then took three for 23 as Kent slumped to 85 for four in reply and they trail by 440 in their Group Three fixture, despite an aggressive 60 not out from England’s Zak Crawley. 

A day from purgatory for the hosts began when the first ball, from Matt Milnes, thumped into Lamb’s pads. A loud shout for lbw was turned down and it all was downhill from there for Kent as Wood and Lamb were largely unmolested, adding 90 runs without loss before lunch.  

Lancashire’s dominance continued through the afternoon session, Wood cutting Joe Denly for four to bring up his second red-ball century and Lamb reverse-sweeping the same bowler for boundaries twice in an over. 

When Milnes did draw an edge from Wood he was dropped by Crawley at slip, but he finally had him caught behind in his next over, the 147th. Lamb then brought up his century with a six over long on but he was eventually bowled by Fred Klaassen. 

Tom Bailey added a quickfire 47 before he was caught by Crawley off Jack Leaning, leaving Matt Parkinson unbeaten on one. 

Kent’s reply started in gruesome fashion when Bailey had Jordan Cox caught behind for nought off the fifth legitimate ball of the innings and Wood then removed Daniel Bell-Drummond, who was caught for three by a diving Luke Wells at third slip. 

Four overs later Wells caught Denly for four off Wood, leaving Kent reeling on 23-3 and despite a partial recovery with a stand of 53 by Crawley and Leaning, Wood had the latter caught for 12 at square leg by the sub, Jack Blatherwick. Heino Kuhn joined Crawley and survived a dicey 35 balls to reach one not out at the close of play, but Kent will have to improve drastically to avoid following on. 

Lancashire’s Danny Lamb said: “It means everything to me. After all the hard work I put in during the winter, it’s good to reap the rewards. I’m not going to lie (the six that brought up his century) that was meant to over mid-off! I really dragged it and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time it was in the air. It wasn’t what I had in mind but I’m well happy with it, I’m chuffed to bits.” 

Lancashire’s Luke Wood said: “I’ve put a lot of hard graft into my batting and it’s something I really pride myself on so hopefully for me this goes a long way to being the player I want to be. We used the sanitiser breaks as a guide, every six overs we went right, we’ll get past these, we’ll get past these. We didn’t really think about scoring, we just naturally took it over.”  

Kent coach Matt Walker said: “It was an opportunity missed. At 260 for seven overnight I thought that was a really good effort and put us in a really good position going into to today (but) the game sort of slowly slipped away from our control. Full credit to Lamb and Wood, I thought they played very well, they sucked up the pressure and made it count, they made use of a very good wicket in the end. 

“We just didn’t have any answers today. We didn’t bowl poorly, but we didn’t look like being able to take a wicket for most parts of today. There was a lot of huff and puff and the effort was there, we didn’t bowl poorly, we just didn’t muster enough balls in the right area.”