Grayson supports penalty verdict on Canterbury pitch

Essex head coach Paul Grayson has spoken about his unhappiness with the pitch at Canterbury where Kent completed an LV= County Championship double over their old adversaries.

Kent won by six wickets in a low-scoring match where only Geraint Jones managed a half-century while seamers David Balcombe and David Masters took full advantage of the conditions to post match figures of 10 for 102 and 7 for 100 respectively.

“I had to go in after the game together with our captain James Foster to speak to two ECB pitch liaison officers, John Jameson and Tony Pigott, and with the umpires. We discussed the surface and I just felt that, on day one, it was like crazy paving and there was too much movement in the wicket on that first morning,” Grayson said.

“To be honest, that was one of the worst Championship wickets I’ve seen for a long time. I don’t want to see any pitches reported, but it was a poor four-day wicket.

“Unfortunately, however, we’ve lost the game and whatever will be said about the surface we also haven’t been quite good enough in this match. Even at 35 for 4, as Kent were at one stage in their second innings, chasing 70, I thought we still had a bit of a chance but we got sucked into bowling too short in the conditions after we had got those four early wickets by bowling good lengths.

“So, overall it was additionally frustrating for us because all we had to do was to maintain the right lengths and the pitch would do things for us. At the start of their innings, the lads felt we might still have an opportunity and we gave it our best shot. But sadly we’ve been on the wrong end of a poor pitch at Canterbury.””

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