Kent duo smash record
Kent duo surpass the 2017 Dickson and Denly milestone Other landmarks fall under the gaze of England selector
Kent batsmen Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning both scored double hundreds in an unbroken clubrecord first-class stand worth 423 in their Bob Willis Trophy clash with Sussex at Canterbury. It beat Kent’s previous record of 382 set by Sean Dickson and Joe Denly for the second wicket against Northamptonshire in 2017.
Teenage wicketkeeper Jordan Cox shared Kent’s highest-ever stand of 423 with Jack Leaning yesterday in an innings victory over Sussex. The pair beat the record of 382 by Sean Dickson and Joe Denly which had stood for only three years.
Resuming on 338 for one overnight, Cox reached his 238 off 345 balls with 27 fours and three sixes, and went on to notch Kent’s highest individual innings against Sussex, beating Neil Taylor’s 203 not out set at Hove in 1991. The 19-yearold became the county’s highest maiden century-maker – beating the 57-year-old record of 211 made by David Nicholls against Derbyshire at Folkestone.
Leaning, 26, scored his 200 in 351 minutes off 289 balls and with 29 fours. By lunch the pair had sailed past the landmark set by Dickson and Denly for the second wicket against Northamptonshire at Beckenham in 2017. They had also beaten the 131-year-old Kent record for any wicket in matches against Sussex of 249 by fourth-wicket partners George Hearne and Francis Marchant at Gravesend in 1889.
Indeed, Kent’s total of 530 for one became the fourthhighest single-wicket score in global first-class cricket history behind the world record of 561 for one held by Karachi Whites in the Patrons Trophy against Quetta in 1977.
“I’ve never seen anything like that at Canterbury,” said Darren Stevens, who took five Sussex wickets in the second innings. “Jordan and Jack were just exceptional over these past two days.
“They looked in no trouble. Jordan looked like he’d been playing 20 years. He’s an exceptional talent and the way he just kept batting and batting he looked like he’d already got 15 hundreds under his belt. I’m so pleased for Jack. He’s the new boy in the team and came down from Yorkshire with a lot of hype surrounding him. He’s fitted in brilliantly.”
Kent have always had a plentiful crop of wicketkeeper-batsmen – more so than any other county or even country – but at the start of this season they had four to accommodate, one of them the club captain Sam Billings, along with Adam Rouse and Ollie Robinson, while Cox was the most junior as England’s Under-19 wicketkeeper.
But the rule nowadays is that young batsmen are all the better for keeping wicket as their powers of concentration are enhanced and they have to watch every ball closely. On this basis, Cox, having played four first-class matches, and with a previous highest score of 29, was promoted to open in the absence of Denly (injured) and Zak Crawley in the England Test bubble.
Slim and agile in addition to having the hand-eye co-ordination of the excellent wicketkeeper, Cox played quality strokes along the ground before going to his hundred by hitting an off-break for one of his three sixes.
Although there was no crowd at Canterbury, Cox was watched by England national selector Ed Smith.
Leaning had scored only four first-class centuries since making his debut for Yorkshire in 2013, with a highest score of 123. A classical defence was one main reason why Kent signed him during the winter with a view to batting at No4, behind Crawley and Denly.
On what had been a belter of a pitch when Cox and Leaning batted, Sussex were skittled a second time round by Stevens to lose by an innings and 25 runs.
Rouse perhaps seeing the writing on the scoreboard, announced his retirement last week. Elsewhere, Lancashire eased to victory over
Durham, winning by an innings and 18 runs, while Worcestershire built an overnight advantage of 179 runs with eight second-innings wickets remaining in their clash with Glamorgan. Surrey need 310 runs from the final day to beat Essex and a knock of 75 from Jonny
Bairstow put Yorkshire (264 all out and 259 for seven) in a strong position against Nottinghamshire (355 all out). Half-centuries from Graeme Van Buuren and Ryan Higgins kept Gloucestershire hopes alive against Warwickshire.
Heroic: Jordan Cox of Kent celebrates his maiden double century in a record stand of 423 with Jack Leaning