Ball has ton in his sights as he looks to re­tain spot

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Cricket -

Adam Ball hopes his record-break­ing knock against Der­byshire will help se­cure his place in the team for the top-of-the-ta­ble Cham­pi­onship clash at Es­sex on Sun­day. Ball joined skip­per Sam North­east to guide Kent away from trou­ble at 166-6 by putting on 150 for the sev­enth wicket in 36 overs, fin­ish­ing on 66, just three runs shy of his First Class ca­reer best. The all-rounder was re­called to the Spec­savers County Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion 2 side at Derby on May 22 and de­spite a month’s break from red-ball cricket, his 63 runs in two in­nings and 2-43 with the ball en­sured he re­tained his place for the re­turn fix­ture at Can­ter­bury this week. He ad­mit­ted: “I got an op­por­tu­nity at Derby and did all right up there but with­out set­ting the world on fire. “Where I’m at now in my ca­reer, when I do get op­por­tu­ni­ties I have got to make sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to be able to keep my place in the team. “In this game I did well with 66, al­though I was prob­a­bly a bit dis­ap­pointed I didn’t go on and get my hun­dred. Be­ing a bat­ter, it’s about scor­ing a hun­dred. “I haven’t scored a First Class hun­dred and it’s al­ways in the back of your mind try­ing to get over that first hur­dle. “Once you do it once, you have the con­fi­dence that you can do it again.” He added: “I was dis­ap­pointed to miss out but happy to help get us out of a bit of a hole that we were in and keep us in the game. “It’s prob­a­bly the first time I’ve bat­ted with Sam. It was nice, he’s pretty re­laxed and so am I, we just go about our busi­ness and came out on the right end of it. “It’s al­ways good to be in the record books for the right rea­sons. It’s an­other mile­stone in my ca­reer and hope­fully we’ll get to see a few more records.” Kent will go into Sun­day’s clash at Chelms­ford top of the ta­ble but hav­ing played a game more than their hosts and Ball claimed: “Hope­fully, I’ve done enough to get an­other op­por­tu­nity. It’s a top of the ta­ble clash and if we can come out on top over there, who knows. “I’ve bat­ted three times and I’ve got 20-40-60 – hope­fully next time it’s 80 then 100.” He added: “I’m still learn­ing how to go about my busi­ness in bowl­ing in the four-day stuff – learn­ing what type of bowler I am. “I’m try­ing to be­come more con­sis­tent and re­li­able with the ball, try and take some wick­ets but also hold up an end for the other guys. “At the age of 23 I’m not a young­ster any­more, when I am play­ing there’s no ex­cuse. I’ve got to start per­form­ing.”

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