Cricket; Kent claim comfortable win over Warwickshire

PUBLISHED: 17:56 14 April 2019

Kent's Zak Crawley during day one of the Specsavers County Championship, Division One match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Kent's Zak Crawley during day one of the Specsavers County Championship, Division One match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

PA Wire/PA Images

Kent were kept waiting but ultimately completed a commanding eight-wicket win over Warwickshire deep in the final session of their Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at Edgbaston.

The home side, having followed on 158 behind, delivered some stern last-day resistance through an eighth-wicket stand of 144 in 45 overs between Tim Ambrose (107, 195 balls, 16 fours) and Henry Brookes, who hit a career-best 84 from 155 balls, with 14 fours.

But after they were separated, just before tea, the last three wickets fell in 22 balls to leave Kent a victory target of 123 in 31 overs.

Harry Podmore finished with 5-62 to harvest match-figures of 8-123, a highly impressive return on a very good batting pitch.

And Kent eased to 124-2 to complete their first victory in Division One of the championship since 2010, with their strong performance the perfect response to the disappointment of defeat to Somerset in their opening game at Taunton.

For Warwickshire, it was a chastening start to the season. With a squad in transition, and further hit by injuries which ruled out Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Ian Bell, Liam Norwell and Aaron Thomason, they faced an immediate examination of their squad depth and struggled to cope.

The home side resumed on the final morning on 79-4, still needing another 79 to avoid an innings defeat, and soon lost Sam Hain (38, 73 balls, five fours) who edged a superb ball from Podmore to wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson.

After Tom Milnes fell lbw to Darren Stevens and Podmore produced another fine delivery to pin Craig Miles in front, Warwickshire were seven down, still 37 behind and Kent were scenting victory by an innings.

But Ambrose and Brookes batted with composure and patience against an attack which began to look understandably tired.

Brookes passed his previous career-best of 70 before Ambrose reached his 18th first-class century, from 191 balls with his 15th four.

The pair were just taking their side within touching distance of safety when, four overs before tea, Kent finally made the vital breakthrough.

Milnes trapped Ambrose lbw with an in-ducker that kept a little low after which Podmore immediately followed up by removing Jeetan Patel lbw and Milnes won another lbw decision, against Brookes.

Left with a victory target of 123 in 30 overs, Kent lost Sean Dickson, lbw to Brookes, in the second over, but first-innings century maker Zak Crawley (45, 40 balls) and Matt Renshaw (48 not out, 50 balls) added 80 in 67 balls to make light work of the small target.

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