Middlesex 333 & 327 Kent 308 & 356-3 (Kent win by 7 wickets): Middlesex exposed as Walker leads ambush

This was a humiliation for Middlesex in their first county game of the season. They were ambushed by Kent and even when they had seen it coming they were utterly incapable of responding.

These are early days, but the Middlesex dressing-room cannot be a cheerful place. Perhaps they should take courage from Kent's experience, because they lost to Durham a week ago by an innings and 56 runs. On the other hand, that could make them feel twice as bad.

The sun was shining, but it was nippy when play began at 11am. Kent, with all their wickets intact needed 311 to win. Although the pitch had been well-behaved for three days, there was still bounce for the seamers, and some deliveries had spun the evening before.

Bookmakers do not bother to turn up for County Championship matches at Lord's. Had they done so, they would have been daft not to make Middlesex favourites.

At 11.25am, Kent's new captain, Robert Key, was given out lbw to Chris Silverwood, the import from Yorkshire, having added only four to his overnight score. But David Fulton was taking advantage of some carelessly short-pitched bowling, and the score was moving along nicely. Fulton celebrated his fifty by square cutting and hard edging Silverwood for three fours in one over. That was him out of the attack for the time being.

Fulton's new partner, Martin van Jaarsveld, was not pretty but he did look perfectly comfortable. Shortly after midday Fulton survived a straightforward chance to Ben Hutton at slip when he was 70, and Kent were 129 for 1. At that stage the bookies would have begun to hedge their bets. This game could still have gone any of three ways; but at lunch Kent were 158 for 1. If Middlesex were to win, quick wickets were essential.

Fulton finally went in the fourth over after lunch, well caught by Ben Scott behind the wicket off Johann Louw, who had arrived at Middlesex from South Africa via Northamptonshire.

This might have been Middlesex's breakthrough, except that now it was Louw's turn to be hit out of the attack, conceding 14 in an over to Van Jaarsveld and Matthew Walker.

At 3pm, Kent were 230 for 2. Van Jaarsveld's inelegant square prods were shooting to the boundary, as were his waves down to fine leg and his edges over slips.

Hutton brought himself on and for six balls he staunched the flow. In his next over, Van Jaarsveld sped from 86 to 100 with three fours and then a two off his legs. Hutton came on as an experiment, but made it look like a concession.

Van Jaarsveld was eventually surprised by a slower, straight ball from Louw, but Walker, who had scored 123 to rescue Kent's first innings, and Darren Stevens made the progress toward victory look embarrassingly easy. Kent had needed only 92.4 overs and there were still 20.2 overs to bowl at 4.35pm when Walker hit the winning runs.

And the reason for this slaughter? You could not fault the Middlesex bowlers for not trying. Only for their competence. They were simply not capable of taking 10 wickets on the fourth day of a county game. If they do not learn the trick very soon, Middlesex could already be doomed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks