Warwickshire 367 for 3 (Yates 128, Hain 124*, Mousley 72*) vs Kent
Yates struck 128 (217 balls) and Hain an unbeaten 124 (235) to enhance their England credentials at the expense of a Kent attack which toiled on a good batting surface after captain Sam Billings chose to field.
Kent’s seam attack, already missing the injured Nathan Gilchrist and Grant Stewart, was further hampered when Matt Quinn limped off just 22 balls into his new-ball spell. The New Zealander returned after lunch but was unable to prevent a bracing reality check for his side after their wining start to the season against Northamptonshire last week.
For Warwickshire, who welcomed England star Chris Woakes back into the team, it was a strong day’s work to follow their impressive domination of Somerset in their rain-affected opening-round draw at Taunton.
Yates in particular enjoyed a satisfying day as he celebrated his return to the top of the order following Dom Sibley’s return to Surrey. Bafflingly dropped to number three in the order last season, he lost form and confidence, but looked back to his best in his specialist position as he unfurled his eighth first-class century. It won’t take too many knocks like this one to re-establish him in the thoughts of England’s selectors.
As the Edgbaston season opened in glorious sunshine but a biting wind, Kent’s bowlers endured a chastening start as Yates and Alex Davies opened aggressively. Davies moved crisply to 23 (34 balls) before playing on to Joey Evison’s third ball.
Conor McKerr, playing the first instalment of a two-match loan from Surrey, soon added the wicket of Will Rhodes, who skied an ugly hoik to mid-on, but that was Kent’s last success for 51 overs. Yates reached his half-century from 69 balls with his tenth four, cut off McKerr, and celebrated with six ladled over long leg off Michael Hogan.
Hain followed to a more circumspect fifty (122 balls) as the third-wicket pair advanced solidly throughout the afternoon. It was a compact, well-managed partnership for the team plan. With Woakes joining a seam-attack also including Olly Hannon-Dalby, Chris Rushworth and Hassan Ali, Warwickshire will fancy their chances of putting Kent under serious pressure if they can amass a total in excess of 479.
Yates completed an accomplished century from 122 balls and it was a surprise when he perished, becoming Joe Denly’s 78th first class victim when he lifted the spinner to mid on.
Any Kent hopes of inducing a clatter were quickly smothered by Mousley’s swaggering start. The 21-year-old lifted Evison and Denly for sixes in his first 20 balls and then sent the new ball, propelled by Quinn, far into the seats at long on.
The implacable Hain – his England chance will surely arrive one day – reached his 16th first class century from 198 balls, Mousley motored to 50 in 55 and the fourth-wicket pair added an unbroken 132 up to the close to complete an excellent day for Warwickshire and leave Kent reflecting upon an early candidate for toss clanger of the season.
News Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/county-championship-division-one-2023-1347099/warwickshire-vs-kent-1347211/match-report