Gloucestershire completed a five-wicket win over Kent in the sides’ County Championship division two opener at Canterbury.
The visitors required just 47 more runs to win on the fourth morning with nine wickets in hand and opener Benny Howell guided them to the 108-run target with an unbeaten 52, though Gloucestershire ended five down thanks to wickets from New Zealander Matt Henry and Darren Stevens.
Ryan Higgins (pictured, above), the seamer signed by Gloucestershire from Middlesex for 2018, set up the victory on the third day with a five-for on his Championship debut. The 23-year-old boasted an economy rate of just 1.57, going for just 22 in his 14 overs to turn the match decisively in the direction of his new county.
Kent will reflect that a disastrous first innings cost them dearly. Uncontested tosses mean few sides will relish a home game first up, and Kent certainly weren’t relishing it on the match’s second scheduled day. After a washout on the first, the hosts were blown away for 64, and although they had Gloucestershire eight down by the close of play, by then they had given up a crucial 46-run lead.
Gloucestershire are due to host Glamorgan in Bristol on Friday while Kent may have their chance to bowl first in friendly conditions as they are away to Durham starting the same day.