Recent Match Report – Kent vs Yorkshire Group 3 2021


Before pair’s 83-run third-wicket stand, little had gone well for the home side

Yorkshire240 for 5 (Ballance 91*, Brook 59) trail Kent 305 (Crawley 90, Coad 3-53) by 65 runs

“Thank you for having me on the programme,” said Joe Root to Kevin Howells when he was a guest on this week’s outstanding Test Match Special podcast. There was nothing false about the courtesy. What one or two other players might have regarded as an inconvenience, the captain of England viewed as a privilege. Root followed his gratitude with a series of engaging admissions about himself – “I’m a cricket tragic” – and how he viewed county cricket: “It’s the bedrock of our game.”

As to why he still played four-day cricket for Yorkshire, Root offered the simplest of explanations: “It’s an opportunity to go back and try to help.” That assistance has no doubt taken many forms over the four games Root has played since the season began. On the highest level, perhaps, there is his unspoken example to the younger players in Yorkshire’s dressing room; on another, there is his practical advice to his colleagues; but also useful have been his runs, principally the century in the victory at Canterbury and then a more modest 41 today.

Those runs were made during an 83-run third-wicket stand with Gary Ballance that was pivotal in our day’s cricket. Before Root and Ballance came together little had gone well for Yorkshire, most notably when Kent’s tailenders were clubbing 81 runs during the morning. Thereafter, Root’s dismissal was the only serious blemish until both Harry Brook and Jonny Tattersall fell in the final six overs of the day. Brook at least had the consolation of having made a fine 59 before he was pinned by a ball from Nathan Gilchrist that kept low. Tattersall, unprotected by a nightwatchman, edged Joe Denly’s leg-spinner to Ollie Robinson. Ballance, though, having marked his recovery from concussion by making a vital 74 at Hove, ended the day nine runs short of what would be his first century since July 2019. And some of his strokes recalled his best afternoons with England.