Essex seconds make a fist of it against a strong Kent contingent

Brighter weather conditions and a strong Kent side were a welcome sight by the seaside as Essex’s second string were put to the test in back-to-back T20 encounters at Garon Park, Southend.

Indeed, with nothing in the way of a County Championship fixture, it was the visitors strongest available squad that crossed the river to glean valuable match practice against a competitive Essex line-up.

Match One

Essex 2nd XI v Kent 2nd XI – Friendly Match – Garon Park, Southend – Summary

Essex 2nd: 124/9 (20.0 overs)
Kent 2nd: 127/2 (12.0 overs)
Kent 2nd won the toss and elected to bowl
Kent won by eight wickets

The first fixture, a friendly, saw Jack Plom top-score for the home side, contributing 28 of 18 balls as Essex posted 124/9.

Jamal Richards chipped in with 20 – Kent used seven bowlers, England right-arm leg-spinner, Joe Denley took two wickets, as did Darren Stevens, Matt Milnes and Fred Klaassen.

Plom claimed the notable scalp of Denley off the fourth ball of the third over as Essex looked to make inroads. However, 40 off 20 deliveries from skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond provided Kent with a firm platform for victory.

Oliver Robinson’s fifty came off 26 balls, while Jordan Cox was with him on 27 as Kent secured an eight-wicket victory in twelve overs – Marcus Critchley (1/14) and Plom (1/29) the only successes with the ball for Essex.

Essex 2nd XI: WEL Buttleman (WK), FIN Khushi, RJ Das, ASS Nijjar (Capt), JH Plom, MEW Critchley, J Richards, AP Beard, JLH MacGregor, BMJ Allison, MR Quinn, ES Kalley

Kent 2nd XI: DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), JL Denly, OG Robinson (WK), JM Cox, AJ Blake, JA Leaning, DI Stevens, G Stewart, MK O’Riordan, ME Milnes, FJ Klaassen

Umpires: RA White and RG Eagleton
Scorers: P Parkinson and AJ Thurogood

Match Two

Essex 2nd XI v Kent 2nd XI – Second XI T20 – South Group – Garon Park, Southend – Summary

Kent 2nd: 186/7 (20.0 overs)
Essex 2nd: 177/8 (20.0 overs)
Toss uncontested – Kent to bat
Kent won by nine runs

The teams resumed, this time in Second XI T20 South Group action for what proved to be an altogether closer affair.

Invited to bat, Kent began at a furious pace. Indeed, Essex – vastly inexperienced in comparison – did well restricting the visitors to 186/7.

Tawanda Muyeye rattled 42 off 25 deliveries before becoming one of Aaron Beard’s two victims. Meanwhile, Alex Blake (32), Bell-Drummond (28) and Jack Leaning (26) were also amongst the runs – Aron Nijjar taking 2/21 – Aaron Beard 2/46 as the Essex attack stuck to their task manfully.

Aron Nijjar – 2/21 (Essex CCC)

In response, Will Buttleman and Feroze Khushi put on 69 for the opening wicket – the former first to depart, snaffled in the gloves of Cox off a ball from Hamidullah Qadri.

Khushi stuck around to reach 65 as Essex impressively made a fist of it. But the target was always going to be a tall order. Jamal Richards scored 18, while Ben Allison and Eshun Kalley put together an unbeaten ninth-wicket partnership of 33 before the host ran out of road – Leaning with 4/16 as Kent won by nine runs.

Essex 2nd: WEL Buttleman (WK), FIN Khushi, RJ Das, ASS Nijjar (Capt), JH Plom, MEW Critchley, J Richards, AP Beard, BMJ Allison, MR Quinn, ES Kalley

Kent 2nd: DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), TS Muyeye, JA Leaning, AJ Blake, JM Cox (WK), DI Stevens, MK O’Riordan, FJ Klaassen, HW Podmore, NN Gilchrist, Hamidullah Qadri

Umpires: RA White and RG Eagleton
Scorers: P Parkinson and AJ Thurogood

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]