Opener Sean Dickson and Heino Kuhn shared a sensational unbroken double century partnership to lead Kent to a decisive three -day victory in their Specsavers County Championship match at Leicestershire.
Coming together when their side, chasing 253 to beat the hosts, had been reduced to 38-2, Kuhn and Dickson batted with impressive purpose and positivity in scoring at more than five runs an over.
After two days of heavy cloud, under which the ball swung the air and nipped around on the previously used pitch, the weather cleared shortly after lunch. The pitch flattened quickly, and in the hot sunshine only Leicestershire’s Pakistan international seamer Mohammad Abbas offered any sort of consistent threat.
Kuhn, who had been first to his half-century, was overtaken by Dickson, who went on to hit three sixes and 12 fours in going to his century off 131 deliveries.
He finished on 134 not out, with Kuhn unbeaten on 92, their third wicket partnership of 215 having been compiled in 41.3 overs.
Earlier, a first-class career best five wicket haul for Ivan Thomas, giving the young seamer nine wickets in the match, saw Leicestershire bowled out for 227 in their second innings.
Resuming on 126-5, Leicestershire lost Ben Raine in just the third over of the day, Harry Podmore seaming a delivery away from the left-hander and finding the edge of the bat, giving Sam Billings a straightforward catch behind the stumps.
Callum Parkinson was then bounced out by Thomas, gloving a bouncer to second slip. Harry Dearden, 61 not out overnight, had taken his score on to 74 when he tried to cut a wide delivery from Darren Stevens and succeeded only in top edging a catch to slip, where Dickson took a chest-high catch.
Leicestershire were in danger of subsiding, but Dieter Klein put bat to ball, thumping a run-a-ball 41 to extend their lead past 200 before being adjudged leg before on the back foot to the leg-spin of Joe Denly, and Gavin Griffiths and Abbas added another 20 runs for the final wicket before Abbas slog-swept Denly into the hand of Thomas at deep backward square.
Abbas, who had taken six wickets in Kent’s first innings, then had Daniel Bell-Drummond caught behind and flattened Grant Stewart’s off-stump to give the Foxes hope of forcing victory – a hope inexorably extinguished by Dickson and Kuhn.