KEITH FLETCHER arrived in time here yesterday to see Paul Jarvis atone for a disappointing first spell. As the national manager sat on the new balcony of the reconstructed pavilion he was telephoned by a colleague, who explained that he had to write an article on selecting the next England team. 'Best o' bleedin' luck, mate,' was the Gnome's reply.
Fletcher had missed the excellent bowling of Alan Igglesden and Martin McCague on Thursday, but was able to see the West Indies' Carl Hooper set about what Rodney Marsh refers to as 'English pie-throwers'. To be fair to Yorkshire's attack, their figures would have looked much better had catches been held: Trevor Ward and Martin Benson were missed on the first evening and Benson was dropped again, when 29, at silly point off Richard Stemp.
Stemp eventually bowled Benson out of the rough and Jarvis, after conceding 16 in his first three overs, was sharp and aggressive when he persuaded Ward into an attempt at a hook just before lunch.
By afternoon, Hooper was in flow, sweeping Stemp when he was an inch off line then lifting him over mid-off for six before bulleting him past point (being foiled on one occasion by a dive from Richie Richardson that was a better save than any made by a Leeds United goalkeeper last season).
Hooper lost Neil Taylor at 185, when Kent were 18 behind, to Mark Robinson's best ball of the day, fast and seaming away, but Kent's batsmen had altogether fewer problems. Perhaps Yorkshire did not bowl as well - they were certainly inferior fielders - but the pitch also seemed friendlier until later, when Yorkshire took the new ball.
Not until the fifth seamer, Craig White, arrived did Stemp find a proper partner. White is a deceptive medium-pacer who gets pace off the pitch and Hooper, one short of a richly deserved century, played on to him trying to drive. Matthew Fleming did not wait, carved and was caught behind, while Steve Marsh was inveigled out by the spinner, who pinned him down on his off-stump. When Stemp floated one towards middle, Marsh was tempted and bowled.
Kent's hopes of a big lead were then shattered by Jarvis, with the cherry, three men bowled in six deliveries.Reuse content