Kent wel­come respite from tough sched­ule

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk/cricket -

Cap­tain James Tred­well says de­spite be­ing bot­tom and with­out a win, Kent’s re­turn to LV= County Cham­pi­onship, Di­vi­sion 2 ac­tion at Glouces­ter­shire yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) will be a respite from the stresses of the t20 cam­paign. Kent have drawn six and lost two of their eight four-day games so far while they have lost all five Friends Life t20 matches – in­clud­ing three in four days cul­mi­nat­ing in a 62-run loss at Es­sex on Mon­day night. Tred­well said: “It’d be nice to have a bit of prepa­ra­tion time be­fore, five games of t20 on the bounce and then one day be­fore back-to-back cham­pi­onship games is tough for the lads. “It’s a dif­fer­ent form, though. We go into cham­pi­onship cricket and look to pick that area of our game up. We’ve played some rea­son­able four­day cricket in re­cent weeks and been close (to the first win) on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions.” Ver­non Phi­lan­der is set to make his cham­pi­onship de­but for Kent with hopes high he can in­spire the side to vic­tory and Tred­well added: “It’s great to have him around. He’ll make a dif­fer­ence.” Bren­dan Nash, Daniel Bell-Drum­mond Calum Haggett, Ben Harmi­son and Char­lie Shreck all re­turned to the side while Mark Davies, Mitch Clay­don and Adam Ri­ley missed out. Mean­while, Tred­well has backed Ben Harmi­son to re­turn to the t20 fold af­ter be­ing sac­ri­ficed for tac­ti­cal rea­sons to al­low the re­call of Geraint Jones to the Spit­fires side. Harmi­son had scored just 39 runs in his last five one-day ap­pear­ances for the Spit­fires and was vis­i­bly frus­trated at the crease in his last ap­pear­ance on Fri­day night against Es­sex. He was re­placed in the side by Jones – who had been told to ex­pect to miss the t20 cam­paign – at Mid­dle­sex on Sun­day, with Jones tak­ing the gloves from Sam Billings, who had kept wicket in the open­ing three games. Tred­well ad­mit­ted: “We’ve got our­selves in a bit of a rut in that top or­der which put pres­sure on the mid­dle­order. Ben’s a clas­si­cal sort of player and he was find­ing it dif­fi­cult with the dif­fer­ent roles he was be­ing asked to play in t20. “He’s been go­ing pretty well in four-day cricket and we want that to con­tinue. We have him for at least an­other year and want good things from him. “It was more of a tac­ti­cal de­ci­sion. We needed some­thing else in that mid­dle­order. He was frus­trated with his roles and we felt Jonah was bet­ter equipped to be able to fill those roles. “Jonah knew he could be called upon at any point. We took that ini­tial de­ci­sion, by Sam keep­ing, which opened up the spot to en­able us to keep Harmy in the team but that didn’t work. Whether it was right or wrong, we went back to Jonesy for the bal­ance of the team. “He (Sam) could have kept keep­ing but, with re­spect to Jonesy, Sam’s a bet­ter fielder than he is. We have learned from ev­ery­thing.”

Pic­ture: Ady Kerry

Edwards (pic­tured) will lead Eng­land into an Ashes se­ries for the fourth time af­ter be­ing named along­side four of her Kent col­leagues in the ini­tial squad for the 2013 se­ries. Af­ter help­ing her coun­try win the Ashes for the first time in seven se­ries in 2005, Edwards skip­pered the side for the vic­tory on the trip Down Un­der in 2007/08, the drawn se­ries in Eng­land in 2009 which re­tained the tro­phy and the sin­gle Test de­feat in Aus­tralia in 2010/11 which saw the hosts re­gain the ti­tle. Kent Acad­emy scholar Natasha Far­rant is in the ini­tial 18-player squad while Tammy Beau­mont, Ly­dia Green­way and Laura Marsh are also in­cluded. The se­ries will com­prise one Test, three one­day in­ter­na­tion­als and three t20 matches. The win­ners of the Test will be awarded six points while two points go to the win­ners of each limited overs match, with the team scor­ing the most points in to­tal claim­ing the tro­phy.

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