Vitality County Championship Preview: Kent v Somerset



Somerset travel to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence this week to take on Kent in the Vitality County Championship First Division.

Day one of this fixture is due to get underway tomorrow (Friday April 5th).


Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1:40pm to 3:40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm


You can keep up to date using our dedicated Match Centre on this website and on our Twitter feed.


In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.


Captain: Daniel Bell-Drummond
Head Coach: Matt Walker
2023 finish: Eighth (Division One)
2023 highest run-scorer: Ben Compton (735)
2023 highest wicket-taker: Wes Agar and Matt Quinn (both 21)

What can we expect?: Were Kent lucky or unlucky last year? Critics can claim that survival on the final day suggests the former, but after losing six potential overseas bowlers to injuries and having to do without Nathan Gilchrist for almost the entire season, the club could argue they were dealt a bad hand that they played as well as they could.

Key winter moves: The angst caused by Jordan Cox’s cross-Thames flit to Essex was more than offset by Matt Parkinson’s arrival from Lancashire and Xavier Bartlett will be available for the first three months. George Garrett and Michael Cohen should bolster a bowling attack that was on its knees by the end of last season.

One to watch: Grant Stewart tends to score quickly or not at all and his lower-order pyrotechnics have rescued a number of failing innings.

Final thought: Can Kent hope for anything more than survival this year? They stayed up by beating Northants twice and grinding out five draws, but 2023 was a frequently grim experience that ended with players, staff and fans alike huddling around phones and laptops to watch Middlesex’s nerve-shredding defeat at Trent Bridge. Canny reinforcements at least offer some hope this time round.


Jake Ball is in contention to make his First Class debut for the Club, and Matt Renshaw has now linked up with squad ahead of his third stint with the County.

Somerset are likely to be without Jack Leach until early May as he continues his rehabilitation back to full fitness. Tom Abell is also unavailable for this fixture after suffering a tear to his hamstring in the pre-season match against University of Exeter. Craig Overton is nearing a return to full fitness following back surgery but is not in contention for the trip to Canterbury.

Somerset have named the following squad for the fixture: Lewis Gregory, Tom Banton, Sean Dickson, Matt Renshaw, Tom Lammonby, Ben Green, James Rew, Lewis Goldsworthy, Kasey Aldridge, Josh Davey, Jake Ball, Shoaib Bashir and Ned Leonard.


Ahead of the game, Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “Preparations have gone as well as they could have done and we’re all really excited to be getting started. We will certainly be looking to hit the ground running. We’ve invested a lot of work into how we’re going to play our cricket under Lewis’ leadership and it’s an exciting time for us.

“Division One will be incredibly competitive again this year and Kent will be looking to start strongly as well. We are aware of what the opposition are about and we will be concentrating on what we can do to positively impact the game.

“There’s no doubt about the fact that we want to start the season well. We haven’t done that in the last couple of years. Preparation has been different this year and there’s a good feeling around the group, so I’m expecting us to start well. Having said that, it’s a long season and you therefore have the chance to bounce back from disappointments and build momentum.

“Our intention will be to win every game we play, regardless of the format. That’s not necessarily realistic, but that’s the intention.”


We head back to June 1953 for our classic match against Kent.

The two sides clashed in a three-day encounter at the Recreation Ground in Bath when Brian Langford starred in a comprehensive victory for Somerset.

After winning the toss and electing to bat Somerset were dismissed for 123 inside 48 overs. Colin Page (five for 35) and Doug Wright (four for 53) were the pick of the visiting attack and put their side in a strong position.

However, the two Kent bowlers were about to be outdone by Langford. He bowled exactly half of the 82 overs it took his side to bowl the visitors out for 178, finishing with figures of eight for 96.

The Somerset batters had a much better time of things in the second innings with both Harold Gimblett (146) and Bertie Buse (102) making hundreds as the hosts declared on 416 for eight.

Langford then claimed six for 60 to finish with match figures of 14 for 156 as Somerset cruised to 153-run victory.


The 2024 cricket season is almost upon us and that means another summer of elite cricket at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the sound of leather on willow and the return of the WPA Predictions League.

Powered by WPA Health Insurance, the game allows you to test your cricket knowledge against your friends and colleagues by scoring points during every Somerset match.

Your correct predictions will transfer into points, and you will be able to monitor your progress on the leaderboard.

The person with the most points at the end of the season in each competition will win a prize!

All you have to do is predict, watch and win!

Good luck!



If you are planning to attend the match, all the information you need can be found on the official Kent CCC Website.

Kent  CCC Website


Our Next Vitality County Championship match gets underway on Friday April 12th when we take on Surrey at the Kia Oval.