To be honest it seemed not enough at this stage. Translated into 50 over stuff would be 290 odd, which seems like a very decent score indeed but in the 40 over stuff anything below 250 is quite difficult to defend unless you are playing at Derby or Worcester or somewhere mediocre. I actually missed a lot of the first innings then the commentary feed seemed to break for me so I resorted to following the Hants man on Twitter with his updates and occasional snippets of life at a game he's at and I'm not. It would be perhaps naive and even fantastic to think that Cork's assault on Bob Key's hand in the CC match was a roughing up exercise to put the willies on the Kent players for this game. Of course that is nonsense, we thumped them then and we could do it again, early wickets the key as with every single chase ever to have occurred in the history of cricket. Kent opened with eternal listing opener Denly, and Nick Knight Jnr, Northeast. Cork and Wood started economically, then Northeast's hopes went 135 degrees clockwise as he edged Cork behind to baby Bates, standing in his second game since Pothas thought it would be funny to do what Dimi does and sit out the season. 17-1 I think the score in the 5th over, and MVJ, not Jones, joined Denly. Now, I've always been a big fan of MVJ, partly for a number of reasons - he's good friends with Pothas, his stance looks like he's about to fell a tree, plus he scores runs in a nice way. However I was most definitely not wanting to be his mate as he took to the Hampshire bowlers not exactly with violence but in a controlled, positive manner that makes your heart sink as an opposition fan. Both brought up 50s, then the Kent 150 as a glance at the score read 151-1. Worst thing was, even Briggs wasn't making any inroads. The attack seemed one paced and Cork tried something different by giving the ball to Carberry. 2 overs for 18 made Cork go back to the other bowlers, and it was Briggs who made the all important breakthrough. It could be argued that getting out Trescothick in your debut first class match gives you a bit of a long term boost, and this seems to be the case for Briggs. No batsman has a reputation big enough for the 19 year old islander to worry about, and MVJ was no exception as Briggs clean bowled him for 73 and the team score on 153. At this point my thoughts were along the lines of at least it won't be a 9 wicket loss. The rate was around 8 an over though so it wasn't going to be an easy run in for Kent and the not out Denly who looked well set.
Geraint Jones was is at 4 but didn't last amazingly long as the required run rate continued to increase. Cork brought himself back on and removed Jones, caught by McKenzie in the covers. What followed was the key phase of the game, as Denly was joined by the season-long in-form Darren Stevens. After ruining us twice in the 20/20 last year, we seem to have the rub on Stevens this season as what could have been an explosive, game sealing knock turned out to be a lethal blow for the Spitfires. Stevens was restricted to 6 from 7 balls with no boundaries before trying to counter attack against Cork. However he was dismissed by a fantastic Bates catch, stood up to Cork.
|The key dismissal - Stevens goes © Sarah Ansell|