Specsavers County Championship - 9 June 2018
Gloucestershire drew with Kent
Venue: Brightside Ground, Bristol
Gloucestershire v Kent
A century stand - their second of the match - between Graeme van Buuren and Kieran Noema-Barnett saw Gloucestershire to a draw on the final day of their Championship match against Kent at the Brightside Ground.
On the back foot after three wickets had gone down for 19 runs, the same partnership which had pulled around Gloucestershire's first innings again showed the durability to protect the lower order until only twelve minutes play remained, when van Buuren was caught at short leg off Daniel Bell-Drummond for 59. It was left to Craig Miles to see out the match with Noema-Barnett (42*) as Gloucestershire closed on 322-7 in their second innings.
Gloucestershire take 7 points from the match, which was their third draw in five Championship games so far this season.
Watch head coach Richard Dawson's post match thoughts here:
Gloucestershire began the final day in a similar position to the ones they faced against Glamorgan and Middlesex - needing to bat for six hours to avoid defeat. Kent knew a second new ball would be available in mid afternoon, and that spell, along with the first hour, appeared to be the key phases that would decide the outcome.
Openers Benny Howell and Chris Dent had put on 73 together on the third evening, and Howell soon pulled a short ball from Henry to complete his second Championship fifty of the summer from 101 balls with seven boundaries.
Stevens was an economical foil for Kent's leading wicket taker for most of the first hour, but it was Podmore who gave the visitors the first of two quick wickets when Howell was trapped lbw for 67. The decreasing bounce was a factor in Gareth Roderick's dismissal to Ivan Thomas one run later - also lbw - and James Bracey also saw an edge flash past the hands of Heino Kuhn in the slips before lunch, by which time the deficit was down below 200 and skipper Chris Dent had reached his own half century with seven fours.
Kent captain Joe Denly had bowled his leg spin from the pavilion end before lunch, and his spell was to extend to 17 overs as the visitors plugged away on a wearing pitch. At times Denly had four close catchers in operation, which meant four lots of headgear lined up behind Adam Rouse when the seamers were operating from the other end.
Harry Podmore's involvement in the day had been made possible by some treatment to a sore knee, and the value of a thorough warm-up paid dividends when Dent edged to 'keeper Rouse after batting for more than four hours for his 76. His departure maintained Kent's hopes of victory, and an hour later Gloucestershire had been backed into a corner with two further wickets falling before the second new ball could be taken.
Both went to Denly, the gritty Bracey (27) being caught behind playing back, and Jack Taylor trapped on the crease by one that straightened for 15. Graeme van Buuren's first movement to Denly when he came in was also backwards, but he survived while Higgins - against the new ball - did not, flicking at a delivery from Stevens which went comfortably to first slip.
It left Gloucestershire six wickets down with more than a session to negotiate, although with van Buuren and Noema-Barnett again batting together it was not an unfamiliar position and whatever was said at tea, neither returned to the middle prepared only to defend.
The overall deficit dropped below 100 runs as van Buuren clipped Denly through mid wicket and it felt a decisive moment when the same bowler had a big lbw appeal against van Buuren turned down with 23 overs remaining.
Thereafter, the clock always looked against Kent although with Gloucestershire still in arrears they continued to press for the one wicket which might have brought more. As it was, van Buuren reached his second half century of the match well into the final hour, and Noema-Barnett's drive off Denly brought up a second century partnership between the pair before, at 5.48pm, the unlikely figure of Bell-Drummond removed van Buuren for 59, caught at silly point. It was his first Championship wicket.
In the remaining twelve minutes, Kent squeezed in four more overs, but to no avail, and the match was drawn.
A century stand for the seventh wicket in Gloucestershire's first innings between Graeme van Buuren and Kieran Noema-Barnett soaked up 41 overs and helped Gloucestershire retain the chance of a draw from their Championship match with Kent at the Brightside Ground.
For van Buuren, his 83 was close to his best first class score at Bristol, falling just short of the 88 not out made against Nottinghamshire last season, while Noema-Barnett was left unbeaten on 73 when a tenth wicket stand of 36 with Matt Taylor which delayed tea was broken by Kent skipper Joe Denly.
Gloucestershire were finally dismissed for 240, and with 25 overs to negotiate after Kent enforced the follow-on, skipper Chris Dent and Benny Howell put together an unbroken stand of 73 to leave Gloucestershire 269 runs behind with one day remaining.
Watch Kieran Noema-Barnett's thoughts on the match position here:
Kieran Noema-Barnett made an unbeaten 73 today in the first innings against @kentcricket and sharing in a century partnership with Graeme van Buuren (83). Here are his thoughts at the close with Glos 73-0, 269 behind pic.twitter.com/2EOUG9oMx5— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) 11 June 2018
It's fair to say Gloucestershire began the third day with a lot on their plate. A deficit of 538 looked to represent a full six sessions batting in order to save the match on a pitch where the potential of slow turn and occasionally unpredictable bounce were likely to be the batsmen's major problems. Moreover four first innings wickets had already gone, so Graeme van Buuren and Jack Taylor would have wanted to book in for a long stay.
Kent's threats with the new ball, Matt Henry and Darren Stevens, opened affairs in sunny conditions and within 45 minutes Henry had two further victims to his impressive seasonal tally. Jack Taylor had added nine to his overnight 24 not out when he dragged a ball into his leg stump, and Ryan Higgins (9) was bowled between bat and pad soon afterwards. At 82-6 and 500 runs behind, Kieran Noema-Barnett and Graeme van Buuren then joined forces to frustrate the Kent attack until the second new ball became due.
Neither batsman had previously made a century at the Brightside Ground, but this was an occasion that both embraced even though it felt counter intuitive to their natural game. Henry and Stevens gave way to Podmore and Thomas, whilst Riley's introduction half an hour before lunch marked the start of a long but ultimately fruitless spell for the off spinner as Gloucestershire's seventh wicket pair played watchfully together, although they tried to punish anything short off the back foot.
By lunch they had added 42 in 20 overs to restore some respectability to the Gloucesstershire card, and both men reached personal milestones in early afternoon, van Buuren making his first Championship fifty of the summer from 96 balls with six fours, and Noema-Barnett reaching 1000 first class runs for the club when he was 20 not out. Largely, of course, it was a day of defence but there was a drift to slightly more measured aggression as the afternoon wore on, both men gathering what they could against the old ball.
The partnership had reached 95 - with van Buuren's share 50 and Noema-Barnett's 41 - when the refreshed Henry was thrown a new one, and it didn't take long to make a difference.
After more than three and a half hours, van Buuren was caught in the slips by Kuhn for 83, Miles was lbw and Drissell edged his first ball to Crawley, also in the slips. Matt Taylor survived the hat trick, and also saw Noema-Barnett to his first Championship fifty since the game at Northampton last August, an innings that occupied 169 balls and included seven fours. The additonal 36 runs they collected delayed tea until Taylor was caught behind down the leg side, leaving 25 overs to bat in the final session once Kent - having dismissed Gloucestershire for 240 - had enforced the follow-on.
Matt Henry's figures of 6-58 represented his fourth five wicket haul of the season, but another destructive spell proved beyond him on the day as Benny Howell and skipper Chris Dent set about trimming a first innings deficit of 342.
With four slips at times in place, there were gaps for the Gloucestershire openers if width was offered and both played some pleasing shots, Howell working Stevens and Podmore neatly to the square leg boundary before the latter limped off just before the close after pulling out of his run up.
73-0 at stumps represented a good start in Gloucestershire's second innings, but saving the match remains a task which will take application and patience on the final day.
One of cricket's great debates when a side makes a big first innings score is how you balance runs on the scoreboard against the time needed to take the necessary wickets for victory.
It remains to be seen if Kent captain Joe Denly's judgement was correct at the Brightside Ground, as his side banked a total of 582-9 before declaring in the first over after tea on the second day.
It left Gloucestershire with two days and 29 overs to realistically bat for a draw, but at the close of Sunday's play Gloucestershire were 44-4 with plenty to do just to avoid the follow-on.
Watch the thoughts of all rounder Graeme van Buuren at stumps here :
Gloucestershire began the morning looking for a clatter of wickets that would keep Kent within range on first innings, but the first hour saw the overnight pair of skipper Denly and veteran all rounder Stevens not only look comfortable but also put the scoring rate into overdrive straight away.
Despite overcast conditions a flurry of boundaries in the first five overs appeared to show the pitch remained as straight forward to bat on as the first day, five of them to Denly who brought up his half century by working Higgins past wide mid on.
Kent advanced their score to 366-4 by the time possible bonus points elapsed, Stevens offering his captain good support and bringing up the century partnership and his own fifty - including ten fours - with a rare drive past mid off. Both batsmen had scored heavily square of the wicket, an indication of the lack of pace in the pitch.
As on the first day, Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent turned to six different bowlers before lunch including George Drissell but there was little sign of turn for the young off spinner or Graeme van Buuren, the latter being struck for a straight six by Stevens over long off towards the pavilion.
Denly was one of Kent's centurions in the Royal London Cup win at Beckenham seven days earlier, and here he looked in similarly good touch, particulary on the off side. He and Stevens had added 161 in 37 overs when after Denly reached his century, from 174 balls with 13 fours, Stevens was lbw to Kieran Noema-Barnett for 89 shortly before lunch.
Having advanced the score by more than 150 runs in the morning session, one wondered if Kent were pushing for an early afternoon declaration, but it soon became evident that they only wanted to bat once, despite the talk around the ground at lunch that a total of 500 might be the tipping point.
Wicketkeeper Adam Rouse - who played for Gloucestershire in 2014 - forced Miles off the back foot for four when played resumed and while he soon lost his captain - caught behind by Roderick off the same bowler for 107 - Harry Podmore proved his seasonal batting average of 73 was no fluke.
Both, as with others before them, were happy to play the ball off their legs as well as waiting for anything they could cut or force off the back foot square of the wicket. The pair maintained the previously healthy scoring rate, adding a further fifty runs in 14 overs with Podmore powerfully lofting Drissell for six towards the club offices.
A third new ball wasn't due until after tea, and at one stage Gloucestershire had six fielders on the boundary as first Rouse (75 balls) and Podmore (79 balls) both posted their first half centuries of the season before being dismissed by Graeme van Buuren, Podmore's delivery turning sharply before hitting the off stump.
The declaration finally came four balls into the post tea session, Matt Henry having struck the first two for six and the third for four. A top edge to Roderick gave Miles his fourth wicket, and left Gloucestershire with almost two hours to bat at the end of five sessions in the field.
Faced with a total of 582-9 against his side, Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson would have been looking for a secure start from Benny Howell and skipper Chris Dent. Darren Stevens, however, had other ideas, bowling Howell off an inside edge and Dent with one that flicked the top of off stump after the Gloucestershire captain misjudged the line.
At the other end Matt Henry removed Roderick, caught smartly in the gully by Riley, and Crawley snapped up another edge to send back Bracey, who Gloucestershire would have wanted to bat long into Monday's play, which Gloucestershire will start on 44-4.
Not many Championship captains have decided against taking up the option to field first at the Brightside Ground since the right to by-pass the toss was brought in. However, a sunny Saturday saw Joe Denly fly in the face of the regular pattern and once his 50/50 chance went his way, for most of the day Kent's top order made it look the right call.
Opener Sean Dickson chalked up Kent's first Championship hundred of the season, adding 124 for the first wicket with Daniel Bell Drummond (49), the pair batting for almost half the day before Craig Miles induced an edge and Chris Dent took the catch at second slip.
With the second new ball still 15 overs away as play began after tea, Gloucestershire had the bonus of two wickets with the old one, Dickson dragging a delivery from Miles into his stumps for 117, and Heino Kuhn (38) playing van Buuren to James Bracey at mid off.
Ryan Higgins also accounted for Zak Crawley before the close - Dent taking his second slip catch of the day - meaning that Gloucestershire had recovered some of Kent's advantage by stumps, when they had reached 297-4.
Watch the thought of Craig Miles on the day's play here:
Gloucestershire recalled James Bracey and Kieran Noema-Barnett, neither of whom appeared in the Royal London Cup, and also handed a home debut in Championship cricket to George Drissell. The 19 year old off spinner was one of six bowlers used before lunch without success as Kent began the day in stoic fashion.
At one stage in the first session five overs came and went without a run but Bell-Drummond and Dickson appeared unruffled by their lack of progress. There were a couple of enthusiastic lbw appeals but with few deliveries drawing false strokes, most of the Gloucestershire bowlers tried to force errors through accuracy. There were only two boundaries in the first hour but in the last ten overs before lunch Kent's opening pair added 38 runs, almost doubling the score despite, at times, some less than secure running the wickets.
Dickson went to lunch on 47 not out, and completed his fifty in the first over after the resumption from 108 balls with five boundaries. Whilst still without a breakthrough, Ryan Higgins becalmed Bell Drummond for a while by bowling a length which left him unsure whether to play forward or back, but the opening stand had reached 124 when Miles - the most attacking of the Gloucestershire bowlers - found the edge of Bell-Drummond's bat and skipper Dent made no mistake at second slip.
With a good base, a ball nearly 50 overs old and a largely unresponsive pitch, Heino Kuhn wasn't prepared to loiter on the scoreboard when he came in, cracking a boundary straight away off the back foot and soon sweeping Drissell on both sides of the wicket as Kent tried to disrupt the young spinner's rhythm. The pair ticked up 50 runs in 14 overs, Dickson continuing to deftly deflect the ball behind square on the off side. By tea the Kent opener was only three runs short of his century, and a dab off Howell was enough at the start of the final session to see him to three figures, a landmark he reached with 11 fours.
At that point Kent were threatening to cut loose, but while 110 runs came in the final session, Gloucestershire took three important wickets to get into the visitors' middle order. Dickson had just pulled van Buuren for six to mid wicket and flat batted Miles to the long on boundary when he was bowled off an inside edge for 117, and Kuhn played a ugly stroke to van Buuren after he changed ends.
The new ball was taken at 236-3 against two relatively new batsmen in Zak Crawley and skipper Joe Denly, but both played stylishly until Dent snapped up another edge off Ryan Higgins to remove Crawley for 30. Denly and Darren Stevens saw Kent to stumps at 297-4, still a position which leaves Gloucestershire needing early wickets on day two in order to restrict Kent's control of the match.
Kent won the toss and elected to bat.
Benny Howell | Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | James Bracey | Jack Taylor | Graeme van Buuren | Ryan Higgins | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Craig Miles | George Drissell | Matthew Taylor |
Daniel Bell-Drummond | Sean Dickson | Heino Kuhn | Joseph Denly | Zak Crawley | Adam Rouse | Darren Stevens | Matthew Henry | Harry Podmore | Adam Riley | Ivan Thomas |
|Match Drawn||Gloucestershire second innings|
322 - 7
|Kent First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Daniel Bell-Drummond||Caught Chris Dent Bowled Craig Miles||49||175||125||7||0|
|Sean Dickson||Bowled Craig Miles||117||256||214||13||1|
|Heino Kuhn||Caught James Bracey Bowled Graeme van Buuren||38||90||76||5||0|
|Joe Denly||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Craig Miles||107||248||188||13||0|
|Zak Crawley||Caught Chris Dent Bowled Ryan Higgins||30||70||56||5||0|
|Darren Stevens||L.B.W. Kieran Noema-Barnett||89||141||113||13||1|
|Adam Rouse||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Graeme van Buuren||55||111||84||7||0|
|Harry Podmore||Bowled Graeme van Buuren||53||91||84||2||1|
|Matt Henry||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Craig Miles||24||20||15||2||2|
|Adam Riley||Not Out||0||12||10||0||0|
|Extras||7b 5lb 2nb 5p 1w||20|
Fall of wickets
|Graeme van Buuren||21||1||74||3|
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Benny Howell||Bowled Darren Stevens||0||6||7||0||0|
|Chris Dent||Bowled Darren Stevens||1||21||14||0||0|
|James Bracey||Caught Zak Crawley Bowled Harry Podmore||12||86||61||1||0|
|Gareth Roderick||Caught Adam Riley Bowled Matt Henry||0||12||5||0||0|
|Jack Taylor||Bowled Matt Henry||33||104||86||6||0|
|Graeme van Buuren||Caught Heino Kuhn Bowled Matt Henry||83||219||145||10||0|
|Ryan Higgins||Bowled Matt Henry||9||23||22||2||0|
|Kieran Noema-Barnett||Not Out||73||222||185||9||0|
|Craig Miles||L.B.W. Matt Henry||13||31||37||1||0|
|George Drissell||Caught Zak Crawley Bowled Matt Henry||0||2||1||0||0|
|Matt Taylor||Caught Adam Rouse Bowled Joe Denly||9||37||38||0||0|
|Extras||0b 0lb 6nb 0p 1w||7|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Chris Dent||Caught Adam Rouse Bowled Harry Podmore||76||254||180||11||0|
|Benny Howell||L.B.W. Harry Podmore||67||158||128||10||0|
|Gareth Roderick||L.B.W. Ivan Thomas||0||11||6||0||0|
|James Bracey||Caught Adam Rouse Bowled Joe Denly||27||113||102||3||0|
|Jack Taylor||L.B.W. Joe Denly||15||45||39||2||0|
|Graeme van Buuren||Caught Heino Kuhn Bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond||59||165||141||6||0|
|Ryan Higgins||Caught Sean Dickson Bowled Darren Stevens||3||23||24||0||0|
|Kieran Noema-Barnett||Not Out||42||141||129||5||0|
|Craig Miles||Not Out||2||15||15||0||0|
|Extras||11b 12lb 8nb 0p 0w||31|
Fall of wickets