Yorkshire head into their home game against Kent full of optimism. They will be frustrated at not beating Northamptonshire, but the reality is that they made all the running and were denied by a great rear-guard action, and their batting line-up, starring Harry Brook looks like it will have plenty of runs in it.
Kent on the other hand are coming of two straight defeats, and despite some batting highlights from Ben Compton and Daniel Bell-Drummond, Kent look light on wicket taking capability, with three innings over 500 against them in three fixtures. Combine this with Yorkshire’s batting ability and you’d think Kent will struggle here. The bookies think similar, making Yorkshire heavy favourites.
Head coach Otis Gibson, who batted away approaches from England, was pleased with the performance against Northants despite not sealing the win; and there’s plenty to get excited about, with established players performing and big performances from youngsters too, with George Hill making his maiden first-class century and Matthew Revis taking 6 wickets in just his third first class game.
For Kent the form of Ben Compton has been a major talking point, and batting coach Ryan ten Doeschate highlighted that the Kent team have batted for significant periods of time and perhaps are unlucky to be where they are in terms of results. The lack of form of England’s Zak Crawley is also a talking point and Kent will be hoping that he can return to form as soon as possible.
Kent have found a star in Ben Compton. With three hundreds and a fifty already this season, he is bidding to emulate the run-scoring deeds of his famous grandfather. Kent will be delighted if he can continue that run of form.
The leading wicket taker in the County Championship is spinner Liam Patterson-White, and with Kent’s batting being as durable as it is, Dom Bess is likely to get a workout. How Bess goes might well be the key as he looks to build pressure alongside Harris Rauf, Matthew Revis et al. So far this season Bess might only have taken 5 wickets, but he’s done so at less than 2 an over, providing Yorkshire with control while the seamers rotate, and with more dry weather, he might start extracting some turn and putting a few more numbers in the wickets column.
Matt Fisher has been ruled out with a ‘stress reaction’, and with him out, Yorkshire will be hoping Ben Coad could return to bolster the bowling line up. You’d expect the batting line up to be ‘more of the same’ please.
Grant Stewart has been recalled from his loan at Sussex, so could well come into the Kent squad to strengthen the bowling. Joe Denly played some Second XI cricket this week in his recovery from a hamstring injury and could return to the side.
Steven Patterson (c), Dom Bess, Harry Brook, Ben Coad, Harry Duke (wk), George Hill, Dimuth Karunaratne, Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Harris Rauf, Matthew Revis, Jordan Thompson
Ollie Robinson (c) (wk), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Ben Compton, Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Nathan Gilchrist, Matthew Milnes, Tawanda Muyeye, Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart, Hamidullah Qadri
Conditions look set dry and bright throughout, and bank holiday cricket fans might even be able to enjoy some sunshine breaking through on throughout the weekend, with temperatures reaching 15 degrees. With pitches throughout county cricket benefiting from an extended dry spell, we could see more high scoring action.
Date: 28th -24th April 2022
Odds (SkyBet): Yorkshire 8/15 Kent 11/8