Henry happy to help Kent to victory

PUBLISHED: 07:56 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 07:56 14 May 2018

New Zealand's Matt Henry (pic Nigel French/PA)

New Zealand's Matt Henry (pic Nigel French/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Kent hero Matt Henry was happy to contribute with bat and ball in his side’s 58-run win over Sussex at Canterbury.

The New Zealand Test ace hit 55 off 53 balls to lead the hosts to 235 in their second innings, after they had slipped to 146-7.

And he followed that wit a 6-53 haul as the visitors were dismissed for 211 and said: “Our message at the start of the day was to stick to our individual game plans and that’s all we really tried to do.

“The wicket was a little bit up and down so I just wanted to play my natural game with the bat; to be strong in defence, but make sure that if it was in my zone I’d be nice and positive.

“It doesn’t always pay off for me, but it was great to contribute with some important runs.”

As for his 10-132 match return with the ball, he added: “I’m not one for getting fired up with the ball, but Ben Brown and Luke Wright were ticking over nicely and we had to break through.

“Ivan [Thomas] managed to do that for us, so my role then was to make things uncomfortable for their lower order and I managed to help us achieve that.

“Winning games of cricket is why we play the game, and it feels good to take three games on the bounce. We had to fight hard and Sussex played well, the match was in the balance at one point, but we stuck at it and it’s the best feeling when you succeed.”

Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie said his side will dust themselves off and move on: “We spoke earlier in the day about when lower-order players come in and start playing big shots because we had a similar situation in our last game. On that occasion we changed our game and our plans and we paid for that.

“Coming into this game we reaffirmed that if a delivery is good enough for a top-order player then it’s certainly good enough for a tail-ender, so I thought we did well to stick to the game plan.

“The opposition are allowed to play well after all, but with Henry it was play and miss, play and miss, smack a four. He played with a positive mindset, chanced his arm and got away with it.

“That 74-run partnership [between Henry and Harry Podmore] was vital when we’ve finally gone down by 58 runs overall. Yes, it’s easy to point to Henry’s knock as the reason, but if you look at the game overall we had opportunities where we could have been more effective with both bat and ball.

“We’ll move on from here and learn important lessons. The sun will rise in the morning and we’ll start preparing for the next block of white ball cricket.”

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