New Zealand paceman Matt Henry hit a half-century and took six wickets as Kent won a hard-fought Specsavers County Championship match against Sussex at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.
The country’s leading wicket-taker Matt Henry first starred with the bat by scoring a crucial 47-ball 50 before taking his Kent tally to 37 wickets (at an average of 9.59) with a third five-wicket haul in four matches, passing 200 victims in his 50th first class match.
Resuming on 125/4, Kent lost three early wickets, two of them to India paceman Ishant Sharma, Henry came in and his counter-attack helped the hosts to 235 all out.
The 26-year-old hit five fours and three sixes in his maiden half-century for the club and only his fourth in first-class cricket.
Henry contributed 55 as he and Harry Podmore added 74 in 16.4 for Kent’s eighth wicket before Henry’s flail across the line against Ollie Robinson flew to slip soon after the Kiwi had posted only the third half-century of the match.
Robinson plucked out Grant Stewart’s off stump for his seventh wicket of the game then Wiese rearranged the stumps of last man Ivan Thomas to end Kent’s innings at lunch and leave Sussex five sessions to chase 270 for victory,
Kent continued their ascendency over Sussex in Canterbury where, on day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division 2 clash, the visitors went in at tea on 100 for four.
Needing 270 for victory after finally dismissing Kent for 235 in their second innings, Sussex lost four wickets in the mid-session with the prolific Matt Henry claiming two to take his season’s tally to 33.
The Kiwi paceman had Phil Salt caught on the drive at mid-off and then went around the wicket to pluck out the off stump of left-hander Luke Wells with a full, off-cutter that made it 30 for two.
Stiaan van Zyl (38) mounted a recovery for the visitors before he feathered an Ivan Thomas lifter through to the keeper, then Harry Finch steered one from Calum Haggett to Zak Crawley at second slip.
After tea, Luke Wright’s firm drive was caught ankle high in his follow through by Thomas then Henry switched to the Pavilion End to bowl Michael Burgess through the gate as he pushed off the back foot without moving his feet.
Despite the absence of Grant Stewart from their attack with a hamstring strain, Kent marched on as Harry Podmore trapped Ollie Robinson leg before, then, just two short of a patient half-century, Ben Brown went in the same manner to Henry’s full-length away swinger.
Henry bagged his third five-wicket return in Kent colours by skittling Danny Briggs and polished the game off by uprooting the off stump of Ishant Sharma and move Kent up to second in the table.
For good measure. Henry extended his leadership at the top of the national bowling averages after taking his tally to 37 victims in four starts at the miserly average of 9.59 apiece.
Earlier, the hosts, resuming on their overnight score of 125 for four and with an overall lead of 159, were bailed out of the mire by a counter-attacking 50 from Black Caps strike bowler Henry as he and Podmore added 74 in 16.4 overs for the eighth wicket.