Section: Kent

Cricket: Sam Billings added to England’s provisional World Cup squad

Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings will replace Somerset’s Craig Kieswetter in England’s 30-man provisional squad for next year’s World Cup.

The uncapped Billings, 23, made his county debut in 2011 and averages 44.71 with the bat in List A matches.

Kieswetter has suffered a setback in his recovery from an eye injury and is due to miss the 2015 season.

He tweeted his congratulations  to Billings, calling him a “seriously talented player” and “future star”.

The World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015, with England’s first match, against Australia, in Melbourne on 14 February.

England’s provisional squad includes two other wicketkeepers, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow. All squads must be reduced to 15 by 7 January.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Kent Fixtures

The 2015 season is shaping up to be an exciting summer of cricket in England.

The county cricket schedule was announced today with the domestic season starting on April 12 with Kent’s first home LV= County Championship game on Sunday, May 3 versus Leicestershire.

The first five LV= Championship home fixtures start on a Sunday with six of the seven Natwest T20 Blast matches played on Friday evenings.

Next summer is an big international summer and Kent is hosting the first match of the Ashes tour with Australia visiting The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on June 25-28.

Tunbridge Wells Festival takes place in July with the four-day fixture on July 19-22.

The Royal London One-Day Cup starts in late July with three of four 50-over fixtures played in daytime.

Canterbury Week is played in early August with Royal London fixtures against Sussex and Lancashire either side of a LV= game versus Gloucestershire.

The world’s oldest cricket festival continues as England play Australia women in the Women’s Ashes Kia Test on August 11-14 at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence as part of an extended edition.

The season concludes with the visit of Gloucestershire to Canterbury on September 14-17.

Read more at Kent CCC

Cricket: James Tredwell: Kent agree new deal with England spinner

England spin bowler James Tredwell has signed a contract extension with Kent prior to departing for the one-day international series in Sri Lanka.

The 32-year-old has been with Kent throughout his career and was captain for the 2013 season.

However, he also played Championship cricket for south-coast rivals Sussex during a loan spell last season.

Tredwell has played 39 one-dayers and 17 T20 matches for England, and also won a Test cap in Bangladesh in 2010.

The length of Tredwell’s new deal at Canterbury has not been disclosed.

He has now set his sights on retaining his place for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March.

“The first step is to be on the plane to Sri Lanka and press your claim for a place in the team before the World Cup,” he told the Kent website.

“I’ll take it one series at a time and you have to take the chance to show what you can do.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Hampshire v Kent: Will Smith’s ton ensures host struggle to draw

Will Smith’s unbeaten 142 enabled promotion-chasing Hampshire hold out for a draw against Kent in Southampton.

After a morning washout, the 31-year-old, who resumed on 66, put on with Liam Dawson (40) before the latter was bowled by James Tredwell (4-110).

James Vince made a swift 27, but Adam Riley (4-36) swept the hosts batting line-up aside in tandem with Tredwell.

But Smith and James Tomlinson clung on for 11.4 overs as Hampshire ended on 248-9 to save the game.

Smith, who passed a 1,000 first-class runs during the match, spent over five-and-a-hours at the crease and hit 16 fours in his innings.

It was the 12th draw between the two counties in their last 16 Championship matches, with Hampshire having claimed three wins and Kent one in the other four games.

Following Essex’s innings and 79-run victory over Leicestershire,Hampshire head into their final Championship match knowing that only a victory will guarantee promotion to Division One for the first time since 2011.

Read more on BBC Sport

Cricket: Essex v Kent: Sam Northeast hits a ton as Kent suffer collapse

Sam Northeast made a century before Kent collapsed against Essex as 14 wickets fell on day one at Chelmsford.

The 24-year-old batsman made 117 and shared a 83-run sixth-wicket partnership with Sam Billings (51).

David Masters took three wickets for five runs from his first 5.2 overs as the visitors were bowled out for 198.

Essex’s reply faltered as Darren Stevens removed Jaik Mickleburgh to take his 250th first-class wicket and the hosts closed 97-4, 101 runs behind.

Kent’s decision to bat after winning the toss immediately looked a poor choice as Masters (3-44) and Jesse Ryder (2-54) reduced them to 14-4.

Northeast, who hit his third ton of the season to take him past 650 runs for the season, Billings and Stevens were the only three batsmen to make double figures as the other eight made a cumulative total of just 18 runs.

Wickets continued to tumble when Essex came out to bat – Tom Westley was removed by Mitch Claydon for a fifth-ball duck before Stevens (3-32) reduced Essex to 67-4 with his right-arm medium pacers.

Ryder (28 not out) and James Foster (5 not out) finished with an unbeaten 30-run fifth-wicket stand as they looked to shore up Essex’s innings.

Read more on BBC Sport


One-Day Cup: Warwickshire ease past Kent to reach Lord’s final

Warwickshire kept their nerve to ease through to the One-Day Cup final with a six-wicket victory over Kent.

Despite a late burst from Sam Billings, who made an unbeaten 40, Kent’s 215-8 never looked enough at Edgbaston.

England paceman Boyd Rankin again bowled very menacingly to finish with man of the match figures of 3-34.

Half centuries by Jonathan Trott (58), Varun Chopra (50) and Tim Ambrose (51 not out) then all helped the hosts home on 219-4, with 21 balls to spare.

The Bears’ victory keeps alive their hopes of doing the treble – 20 years on from Edgbaston’s class of 1994 doing the same.

Having won the T20 Blast on their own ground less than a fortnight ago, Dougie Brown’s Bears will now face the winners of Saturday’s Durham-Nottinghamshire semi-final at Lord’s on 20 September.

But they remain outsiders in the County Championship, 33 points adrift of leaders Yorkshire with two games left.

It took the big-hitting skills of Billings to elevate the Kent innings to a total worthy of defending.

At 161-8, after the fall of three quick wickets, the visitors looked like they might not even complete their 50 overs.

But Billings hit four fours and a six, sharing an unbroken 59-run stand with tail-ender David Griffiths.

Warwickshire then quickly lost William Porterfield in reply, before a 110-run second-wicket stand between Chopra and Trott.

Both went in quick succession as 120-1 became 132-3.

Trott carved to backward point off Griffiths, who had just dropped him on 54 at mid-on, then Chopra was trapped lbw by spinner Adam Riley.

But experience told as Ambrose got the innings back on course in the company of Laurie Evans, who weighed in with 24 to add to his three earlier catches, one of them a one-handed stunner to remove Alex Blake.

And, after being joined by the reassuring presence of Rikki Clarke, it was Warwickshire wicketkeeper Ambrose who hoisted the winning boundary, just short of the ropes at midwicket.

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One-Day Cup: Kent prove too strong for Gloucestershire

Kent booked their place in the One-Day Cup semi-finals with a 24-run victory over Gloucestershire.

After the hosts lost Rob Key and Ben Harmison cheaply, Sam Northeast (78) and Fabian Cowdrey (51) put on 106.

Sam Billings added 61 but Kent slipped from 215-4 in the 43rd over to 242 all out as David Payne finished with 5-44.

Chris Dent (40) led a positive reply but Gloucestershire lost their way and, despite Will Gidman (39) giving them hope, they were dismissed for 218.

Kent will now travel to Edgbaston to meet Warwickshire on Thursday, 4 September in the last four for the right to earn a place at Lord’s, while the other semi-final sees Durham host Nottinghamshire two days later.

The hosts were inspired by Billings’ 36-ball innings as he hit three sixes and seven fours to put his side in a position for a big score with six overs remaining, but Gloucestershire fought back well to take the final six wickets in 37 balls.

In reply, William Tavare (19) and Dent put on 46 for the first wicket in 8.2 overs and Gareth Roderick added 43, but the visitors then slumped to 125-6.

A seventh-wicket stand of 53 between Will Gidman and Benny Howell (33) briefly raised Gloucestershire’s hopes, but Harmison (3-40) and David Griffiths (2-36) helped mop up the tail order and Kent could celebrate a semi-final place.

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Cricket: One-Day Cup: Glamorgan undone by Bollinger haul for Kent

Kent eased to a six-wicket victory over Glamorgan to go top of the One-Day Cup Group B table.

Doug Bollinger (5-35) helped restrict Glamorgan to 209 all out, with only Chris Cooke (73) making a half-century.

The hosts, who played out a thrilling tie at Surrey on Tuesday, were given a solid start by Ben Harmison (43).

Fabian Cowdrey (42) and Darren Stevens (62 no) then put on 70 as Kent won with six overs to spare to maintain their unbeaten start to the competition.

Earlier, Bollinger equalled his career-best domestic one-day figures and took the crucial wickets of Cooke and Murray Goodwin (40).

Read More on BBC Sport