Robinson cements Kent spot
Robinson cements Kent spot

Kent’s wicketkeeper-batsman Ollie Robinson has cemented his place behind the county’s timbers by scoring two centuries in the first nine innings of his fledgling Specsavers County Championship career.

The 20-year-old from Farnborough started the 2019 campaign by scoring 143 in Kent’s defeat of Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this week followed up with a stoical 103 against Yorkshire for his first ton on Kentish soil.

Robinson’s excellent glovework and batting ability has thrilled Kent fans and has reportedly also already caught the eye of at least two other counties.

However, with first-choice keeper-captain Sam Billings out through long-term injury after dislocating his left shoulder in Cardiff, Robinson seems likely to retain his place in Kent’s starting XI for the foreseeable future. Added to which, the club are very keen to keep him in their ranks.

Talking after his four-hour century against an excellent four-pronged Yorkshire pace attack this week, Robinson said: “They bowled well, particularly Duanne Olivier, who was pretty quick down the slope and put a lot of pressure on me and Alex Blake.

“It was a tough little spell to get through so in the end it felt really good to get through it. It was a proper battle out there, you go hard at each other, but that’s the way it should be in the first division.

“Olivier is one of the quickest I’ve faced and I’ve got a few bruises, one on my bicep and one on my side, and few other war wounds to show for it, but so has Blakey after being hit on the helmet by that Olivier bouncer.”

Robinson added: “Blakey and I batted a lot together for Beckenham in the Kent League back in the day, we like batting together and it was nice to have a bloke you know and trust down the other end.

“I’d like to think this is just a start and is I can reach three figures every eight or nine games I’ll be doing all right.”

After reaching three figures from 177 balls and with 11 fours, Robinson jumped for joy and removed his helmet to acknowledge an ovation from all four sides of the ground – including the applause of two particularly proud spectators.

“Considering how well Yorkshire bowled, I think that this hundred was better than my first one up in Birmingham. I’d like to think this is just a start,” added Robinson.

“My first 50 took 104 balls, so I was by no means scoring freely, they bowled in really good areas to me but we managed to rotate the strike and frustrate them.

“My nan and grandad, Kent and Eileen, came down from Bexleyheath to watch me today and I was so happy to have them here. They follow me everywhere so it was a proud day to have them here for my first hundred in Kent.”

No doubt Kent and Eileen will be hoping their grandson’s second championship ton will be the first of many.

• Kent return to championship action on Monday, April 20, when they take on near neighbours Surrey at the New County Ground in Beckenham. Play will start at 11am.

The hosts will consider a recall for veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens after his recovery from a side strain and off-spinner Adam Riley may also come into the selectorial mix.

Wiaan Mulder, the South Africa pace bowler who arrived in Kent on Thursday, will likely make his debut for the club following the end of Matt Renshaw’s spell with the club.