Kent 'well off it' says Walker after Essex loss
PUBLISHED: 07:53 07 June 2018
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Kent coach Matt Walker had no excuses after his side's heavy loss to Essex in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Chelmsford on Wednesday night.
The hosts piled up 337-7 thanks largely to centuries from Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara, with Matt Henry (2-59), Mitchell Claydon (2-75) and Calum Haggett (2-90) all bagging braces.
Kent slipped to 53-4 in reply and were never in the hunt, with Sean Dickson (51) and Alex Blake (41) their top scorers in a total of 184 after putting on 83 for the fifth wicket.
And Walker said: “We were well off it. Not sure why. We’ve had a pretty tough schedule, which might have had something to do with it. But we didn’t reach our usual standards in any department, unfortunately.
“Not at our usual standard with the ball, our fielding was sloppy and then we were behind the eight-ball in terms of the run chase and never got anywhere near it.
“We’ve played too well in this competition to dwell on that. We need to learn from it and understand why we didn’t play as well as we have done. We’ll move on, knowing we have done the job and we’re into the quarter-finals. That’s pleasing.
“We’re disappointed we couldn’t put a win on the board and get a home tie. But it is what it is. We just need to be better next time it comes around. Hopefully we’ve got it out of our system and it’s given us the kick up the backside as we go into the next phase.”
Kent put the home side into bat and reduced them to 82-3 inside the first 20 overs, but Lawernce (115) and Bopara (125) then put on 187 for the fourth wicket to set up a big total.
Walker added: “Nothing is ever safe here. That is why we chose to chase – we know how hard it is defend a score. I think 300 would have been about right. But to honest we let it slip after a good start. We just got our lengths wrong consistently in the middle overs.
“Ravi and Dan played exceptionally well. We strayed away from what we usually do best. We went searching a bit and they punished it for us. 337 was always going to be a big ask, especially on this ground, especially the start they got – they bowled extremely well up front and got more out of the wicket than we did throughout their innings. We went a bit underground at times.
“I think 280-300 would have been about par and we would have backed ourselves to get near that. It is frustrating because we have done so well, and to finish on that note is frustrating. We’ve played some brilliant cricket in this competition so we’re not going to dwell too long on it.”