Warwickshire thrash Kent to win Division Two title

Warwickshire lift the Division Two trophy

Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Edgbaston (day three):
Kent 167 & 179: Crawley 75; Stone 3-35
Warwickshire 380: Sibley 119, Rhodes 110
Warwickshire (23 pts) beat Kent (2 pts) by an innings and 34 runs

Warwickshire secured the Division Two title as they beat fellow promoted side Kent by an innings at Edgbaston.

Kent began day three on 38-1, needing 175 more to make the Bears bat again.

But the Warwickshire pacemen proved too strong, Chris Wright and Keith Barker taking two wickets each on their final appearance as the visitors were bowled out for 179.

It was all over in two balls as Jeetan Patel trapped Sam Billings lbw for 34 and Harry Podmore was run out.

From Matt Henry’s first shot to mid off, Olly Stone ran out Podmore with a direct hit – to add to his two morning wickets that gave him 3-35.

Zak Crawley (75) had given Kent hope of avoiding a crushing defeat but Ryan Sidebottom trapped him lbw just before lunch.

Wright’s departure to Division Two side Leicestershire had already been reported, but left-armer Barker’s winter move to Hampshire was only announced during the lunch interval.

After taking two wickets in the morning session, Barker did not reappear after lunch as the Bears wrapped up their innings-and-34-run victory.

It was also a perfect farewell for retiring former England batsman Jonathan Trott, who received another post-match salute to accompany the guard of honour he received walking to the wicket for what proved his final innings the previous day.

Repeat success for Giles

The Division Two title is the first piece of silverware for Warwickshire sport director Ashley Giles since his return to Edgbaston from Lancashire in December 2016.

Giles’ first trophy in charge of the Bears, when he took over from Mark Greatbatch in 2008, was also the Division Two title.

Warwickshire ended with three players on the pitch who were also part of that previous title triumph – Trott, wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose and fast bowler Wright, who was playing that day for Essex.

Patel ‘excited’ by Warwickshire transition

Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel:

“We were disappointed that we went down last year but the first thing was to get back up and, along the way, to win a title.

“I’m proud, especially in the last six games when we were extremely professional, showed a great attitude and wanted to play a Test brand of cricket at four-day level. We bowled teams out, batted big, then bowled them out again.

“We’re going to lose a Test cricketer in Trott and two more in Wright and Barker, but I’m excited at where we’re at. I love transition. What can come out of that is so huge and the guys have now tasted success amongst that transition.”

Kent all-rounder Joe Denly:

“We came into the game very up for it and wanting to end the season on a high but we were completely outplayed.

“We were always playing catch-up after the first day, being bowled out so cheaply, and Warwickshire never let us back in. They batted very well and how fitting it is to see Jonathan Trott go out with a win.

“We have had a great season and I think a lot us are probably surprised how well it’s gone.

“Reaching the final of the One-Day Cup, getting close to T20 Finals Day and getting back into the County Championship top flight – it’s been a fantastic season with a lot to build on.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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