Lancashire at the end of Day Three vs Kent

Kent looked almost certain to leave victorious after the local youth prospects of Matthew Hurst and George Bell produced a calm middle-order innings to give Lancashire a chance of winning a match that seemed over by day two.

The visitors enforced the follow-on yesterday and Lancashire lost some important wickets late on leaving out-of-form Bruce and all-rounder Balderson looking to repair the damage.

An unpleasant start to the day for the home side came courtesy of Wes Agar, producing a nice piece of bowling that angled in and straightened up nicely, claiming the off stump of Tom Bruce on its way.

Bruce averaged 10 in Lancashire whites and did not look confident whatsoever at the crease.

Lancashire were slow out the blocks, at one point not scoring a run in five overs, but soon the runs did come and Balderson alongside Bell put on a 75 run partnership that eventually took Lancashire into the lead.

Balderson just about missed out on his ninth first-class 50 as he edged one into the safe hands of Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond, who placed himself at second slip in a tactical position that led to claiming the wicket of Balderson.

Lancashire vs Kent Day Three 2024
Photo by George Franks

21 year-old George Bell shared yet another impressive partnership with another local lad Matthew Hurst, both going on to make their 50s but not before Zak Crawley dropped Bell on 25.

The seventh wicket partnership proved the most fruitful in the end, 78 runs was all the youngsters, from Rusholme (Bell) and Wigan (Hurst) respectively, could manage before Bell lost his wicket to another nice piece of bowling from Agar who had him caught behind.

Despite this, he was Lancashire’s top scorer on the day and Bell spoke to Salford Now saying, “I felt like in the first innings, I didn’t quite get in, I played a little lazy shot and I’ve been quite good at not doing that so far this season. So, I really wanted to try and show I could get back in and play how I’ve been playing from the start of season, it was really nice.”

Next up was another youth academy graduate for Lancashire and recent England debutant, Tom Hartley, who made a rash start to his innings, causing Kent to bring in four slips.

Hartley shared an eighth wicket stand of 54, the fifth half-century wicket stand of the match, as Hurst made his patient 50 with only one boundary.

Lancashire went into the tea break with a lead of 161, they came out after the break looking lacklustre and Hurst lost his wicket after an impressive 164 ball innings.

Soon after, the tail followed. Bailey went with a plumb LBW and Hartley was bowled reverse sweeping off former Red Rose Matt Parkinson.

Kent didn’t start too confidently, a cautious start for Compton left England’s Crawley on strike who fell to his second ball, LBW off Balderson’s first ball of the innings.

Lancashire vs Kent Day Three
Photo by George Franks

His next ball, however, set the tone for the rest of the day’s play, a wide unconvincing delivery that next up to the crease, Bell-Drummond, smothered for 4.

The rest of the evening involved lots of cautious play from the Kent batters, leaving them 71-1 heading into tomorrow morning, requiring just 93 which they should see off disregarding some miracle bowling from Lancashire.

A fascinating day’s cricket by all means, in a match that seemed over before today’s play even began.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *