Northants ace Keogh disappointed to miss out on century on day one against Kent

Rob Keogh plays a shot as Kent wicketkeeper Jordan Cox looks on (photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Rob Keogh plays a shot as Kent wicketkeeper Jordan Cox looks on (photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Rob Keogh plays a shot as Kent wicketkeeper Jordan Cox looks on (photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Northamptonshire all-rounder Rob Keogh was disappointed to miss out on a century as he fell just three runs short on day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One game against Kent.

Keogh produced a fine innings but he couldn't reach three figures as he was trapped lbw by Wes Agar, who took five for 63 for Kent.

Northants, who had won the toss and decided to bat, endured a difficult first day as they were dismissed for just 237 before Kent made their way to 110 for one by the close.

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And Keogh said: “It was quite slow. When they went full and straight, it was quite hard to score. They had straight fields, catching midwickets, catching covers. So, it was a bit more of a patience game, relying on any width and trying to cash in that way.

"We'll be disappointed with 237. Batting first on a used pitch, you’re trying to get 300 plus and then it’s down to the bowlers to put some pressure on. But we've got some work to do tomorrow.

“Wes Agar came back on brilliantly and got the ball reversing. He got it reversing both ways, showed his skills and he ended up with five wickets for not many runs when he picked me up and then it also happened pretty quickly.

"So, it's a bit disappointing, but we've got to try and get the ball reversing ourselves and try and have a similar sort of fightback.

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“All our bowlers can get reverse and they're all going to have to.

"It was hot today, we saw Kent give their bowlers short spells and Wes got on a run and chipped in to clean us up at the end. So, we're going to have to rely on all our bowlers."

The fixture is Northants' first in the Championship since their Vitality T20 Blast action.

And Keogh discussed his transition back to red-ball cricket.

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“I haven't played that much white-ball cricket recently," he said.

"I had a red ball game down in the Twos (Second XI) a couple of weeks ago and got some time in the middle down there.

"I had a back spasm on Sunday, so pretty much had the week off this week, had a short hit yesterday, and then a little hit this morning before a fitness test.

"I've actually felt in good nick all year.

"I got the first game (against Kent at Canterbury) and 70-odd second game.

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"I've felt in good nick when I've got low scores. So, it's just reminding myself not to go searching and not to feel like I'm out of touch when I feel good in my movements and my processes. So, it was nice to get some today.

"It was disappointing not to get those extra three runs and get another 100. Because it's something I pride myself on, scoring hundreds for the club, so it’s disappointing not to get those last three and get the team up to a big score, up to 300.”

Kent started the fixture 10 points above bottom side Northants.

And Agar's excellent bowling display has put the away side in a good position.

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Agar said: “It was a great day of cricket for us. Making early inroads helped. I thought Arshdeep (Singh) bowled really well with the new ball.

“For our batters to go in tonight, it’s not easy and I thought Tawanda (Muyeye) and Daniel (Bell-Drummond) played a great innings so far. Hopefully they can continue that tomorrow.

“At times with the Kookaburra ball the game goes a bit slower and it gets a bit flatter. For Hami (Qadri) to come in and break those partnerships by bowling spin on a day one wicket, I think that’s a big tick for his game moving forward.

“Luckily enough we got the ball moving a bit in the air, which was nice and I was able to get some wickets. It’s always nice to have a ball in your hand when it is reversing.”

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