Kent v Yorkshire preview
Kent v Yorkshire preview

Kent will play their first home County Championship game in almost 18 months this week as their 2021 season continues on Thursday.

The Spitfires will host a Yorkshire team including England captain Joe Root in Canterbury in their second Championship game of the season following a snow-affected draw with Northamptonshire in the first round of fixtures.

Kent haven’t played at home in the County Championship since September 2019 following the postponement of the tournament last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, when it was replaced by the Bob Willis Trophy.

Daniel Bell-Drummond’s side are currently joint-third in Group 3 of the qualifying stage of the tournament, two points behind leaders Lancashire and three above this week’s opponents Yorkshire, after every match in the group was drawn in the first round of fixtures.

Kent picked up 14 points from the match against Northants, a game in which veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens hit an unbeaten century in the first innings, meaning the 44-year-old has now scored a first-class century in four different decades.

Youngsters Jordan Cox and Ollie Robinson, alongside Jack Leaning, scored 50s, before Harry Podmore took 4/77 with the ball as Kent bowled out their hosts for 434. With Kent 42/1 in their second innings, however, the teams shook hands on a draw and the majority of the points were shared.

As aforementioned, Yorkshire too drew their opening game of the tournament against Glamorgan. Former England opener Adam Lyth scored a 50 and an unbeaten century in the match as bowler Ben Coad took figures of 7/112, but unbeaten Glamorgan centuries from Billy Root and captain Chris Cooke ensured the game went the distance before the draw was confirmed. 

Batsman Henio Kuhn is available for selection for Kent after missing the Spitfires’ opener with a calf issue, and the squad is otherwise unchanged from the opening game:

Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Miguel Cummins, Joe Denly, Fred Klaassen, Heino Kuhn, Jack Leaning, Matt Milnes, Marcus O’Riordan, Harry Podmore, Ollie Robinson, Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart.

For Yorkshire, Gary Ballance (concussion) and Coad (shoulder) are unavailable, and they have named a 13-man squad for the match:

Steve Patterson (C), Dom Bess, Harry Brook, George Hill, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Loten, Adam Lyth, Duanne Oliver, Mat Pillans, Joe Root, Jonny Tattersall, Jordan Thompson, David Willey.

All County Championship matches will be paused between 14:50 and 16:10 on Saturday (day three) as a mark of respect for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. To ensure lost time is minimised as much as possible, amended hours of play for days one, two and three are:

Days one and two

  • Morning session: 11:00-13:00
  • Afternoon session: 13:40-15:40
  • Evening session: 16:10-18:15

Day three

  • Morning session: 11:00-13:00
  • Afternoon session: 13:40-14:50
  • Evening session: 16:10-18:30

Day four hours will be as normal.

Fans will not be allowed to attend the game in person under government guidelines, but live streams will be available to access through Kent’s website.