Kent v Northamptonshire, Canterbury, 3rd day May 3, 2013

Copeland ten sets up third victory

Mark Pennell at Canterbury

Northamptonshire 303 (Peters 106, Shreck 4-80) and 105 for 3 beat Kent 271 (Bell-Drummond 68, Copeland 5-71) and 135 (Copeland 5-42) by seven wickets

Should Australia need Ashes cover for this summer's Ashes series they might do a lot worse than put Northamptonshire's overseas strike bowler Trent Copeland on standby.

Copeland, a 6ft 5ins right-armer, took five wickets in each innings for the first time in his first-class career and bagged match figures of 10 for 113 to inspire Northamptonshire's seven wicket win at Canterbury that keeps them on top of Division Two of the County Championship.

Bowling down the Nackington Road slope, Copeland ripped the heart out of a hapless Kent top-order and tuned a hitherto evenly fought contest into a one-sided miss-match.

With the match ball safely tucked away in his kit bag Copeland, who is playing on despite concerns over a slight back problem, said: "I enjoyed this game and felt I earned my wickets through putting it all in and working hard. It's a little like the old adage 'you can't take wickets if you're not bowling', that's just the way I see it.

"I'm only over here for nine weeks or so and would have liked to have contributed more wicket-wise in the first couple of games, but although I felt I bowled well I wasn't quite getting the edges or winning the appeals.

"We spoke about how strong this Kent side is on paper and I'm stoked for the boys that I've come good here and we're going home with a great result. I've never taken two five-fors in a game so I'm delighted with that. We've played three games previously on sporting pitches but this one here just did enough to keep you interested."

Having resumed on day three on 6 for 0 to trailing by a mere 26 runs, the Northamptonshire attack, inspired by Copeland, set about routing the hosts for 135 in a shade over three hours.

Copeland sent back both openers leg before with near identical full-length off-cutters and had former-West Indies international-turned-Kent Kolpak signing Brendan Nash caught behind as the hosts lost six wickets in the opening session.

Daniel Bell-Drummond was run out by a direct hit from Steven Crook after a slow response to a call for a sharp single, then James Tredwell, on his home bow as championship skipper, pushed outside the line of a Crook in-ducker to go leg before without scoring. And Kent supporters were choking on their carvery lunches in the Colin Cowdrey stand when, on the cusp of the interval, Matt Coles waltzed across his stumps flailing to leg and was bowled by Crook for 6.

Geraint Jones showed some heart for the fight with a brisk 72-ball 50 with seven fours after lunch but once he went leg before to David Willey for 57 Copeland returned to mop up the tail and finish with 5 for 42.

Northamptonshire lost three wickets in the pursuit of the 104 required for victory but Alex Wakeley teamed up with Andrew Hall to see them to the winning line by 5pm. Ironically for Kent fans, it was Hall, their overseas allrounder from 2005-2007 who smeared the winning boundary off the listless bowling of Tredwell, who has yet to claim a wicket in his three championship starts this season.

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  • Andrew on May 7, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (May 3, 2013, 21:49 GMT) - only saw this article late, I expect the comments will close so I won't say much. I feel that Copeland's "lack" of pace makes him a point of difference to almost all our other pacers. He also (as mentioned) a good slipper, useful bat too. He hasn't got injured (on the field - just doesn't seem to do well on steps), he can bowl long spells & I feel would be a good non-spinning option or as insurance against a Harris/Patto type of injury-prone bowler!

  • Sam` on May 5, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    @Mitty2. His last four games of the Shield season saw him take 12 wickets at 32, and one of those matches was on a road flat enough that Copeland himself AND Jason Krezja both his centuries.

    I think you're talking out your backside. This is exactly the problem Australian cricket is having at the moment - finding excuses NOT to pick players. Now granted, Copeland is in a tough field given that Australia's ONE area of strength is pace bowling, but he is just another in the mould of a guy like Chris Rogers, Steve Magoffin, David Hussey who have done all the right things - produced fantastic figures at the next level down yet still can't get promoted.

    Ed Cowan averages less than 40 in FC cricket - Hussey and Rogers have averaged 50+ for a decade and don't get picked. Guys like Copeland and Magoffin average 25 with the ball, Mitchell Starc averages 33, Josh Hazelwood has never taken more than 4 wickets in an innings, yet they're the flavour of the month.

  • Shaun on May 4, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    Mitty2 I don't think Copeland has been struggling in Shield cricket. He was leading wicket taker for NSW this season and won Shield player of the year for them. In fact before he came over to England he took 7/43 to win 1st Grade final for St George. He is in great form. Everyone complains about his pace and compare him to Bird. They are completely different players. Copeland has been scoring runs and catching well in the slips. Bird is a great bowler. Copeland and Bird both deserve to be there. Copeland played in SL on dust bowl wicket in 2011. He did better than most of the bowlers except for Harris and Lyon. His figures that series where better than Johnson. I don't think Copeland is a trundle? Nothing wrong with Medium Pace. He is just unfashionable. Terry Alderman only bowled at same pace and he destroyed England. Copeland I suspect will be asked to stay in England and be on standby for Ashes call up if someone like Harris breaks down. He is also very economical. Handy cricketer!

  • Hamish on May 3, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Never rated copeland, yes he does move it both ways but he's one of those bowlers who will always do well in FC because of their accuracy (at trundler pace) but if we want those types of bowlers we have bird who bowls ten km/h quicker.

    Interesting to see that for NSW he really struggled late in the season but as soon as he comes to the county he - three matches in - takes a ten for.

    Interesting to see meety's thoughts on this..

  • avinash on May 3, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Trent Copeland played all his tree tests in sl where pitches are really flat. so he should be in stand by if he keeps performing like this and he is like praveen kumar for India who keeps tight and swinging both ways,he should be there stand by.

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