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Essex grab the initiative as 15 wickets fall on day three

Friday 30th July 2010

Matthew Walker bagged a career-best three for 35 for Essex

Kent v Essex LV= County Championship Division One, day three at Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

A disastrous third day in which Kent succumbed for 135 in their second innings left visitors Essex as slight favourites to wrap up a last day win in this relegation dogfight at St Lawrence.
Having secured a first innings lead of 141 Kent were batting again soon after lunch and a break for rain, but it proved a session they will quickly want to forget as seven wickets fell for 55 runs.
Skipper Rob Key (0) gloved to the keeper when trying to withdraw the bat against Andy Carter then the same bowler on loan from Nottinghamshire, induced a rash shot from Joe Denly (6) who also nicked through to James Foster.
Only 12 runs later and Sam Northeast (7) prodded at a good ball from David Masters for Foster to take a tumbling catch to his right in one glove to make it 25 for three.
Though the clouds departed, Kent“s gloom deepened when Geraint Jones (4) feathered an attempted drive against Carter to give Foster a fourth catch then Darren Stevens worked across the line of the next, full-length ball to go leg before without scoring.
To make matters worse, Azhar Mahmood followed suit to the last ball before tea from David Masters to go lbw for 19 and leave Essex cock-a-hoop.
After tea Matthew Walker, with a career-best three for 35 including the scalp of Martin van Jaarsveld, and Carter with five for 40 polished off the Kent innings inside 48 overs to leave Essex with 14 overs and the final day to chase down 277 for victory.
The visitors lost Mark Pettini (4) in the third over of the pursuit when he edged a defensive push to slip, but Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley survived to stumps without further alarm with their side on 48 for one, needing another 229 to win.
The day started with a determined rearguard action that saved Essex from the follow-on as their first innings finished on the stroke of the lunch interval at 279 all out – an overall deficit in the match of 141.
Kent took the new ball with the Essex score on 200 for six and struck in the seventh over with it when Amjad Khan enticed Pettini to flash outside off stump and edge to first slip where Tredwell took a sharp overhead catch to end Pettini“s 325-minute stay for 88.
Former Kent seamer David Masters counter attacked with some attractive shots to edge Essex to within 14 of the follow-on at 257 before Kent enjoyed their next breakthrough.
Bryce McGain (14) took a stride down the pitch looking to drive at Tredwell only to edge to Geraint Jones then, three balls later, Masters resistance came to an end with his score on 42 when he pushed half forward and down the wrong line to fall leg before to Malinga Bandara.
Carter lofted a straight six off Tredwell to cut the deficit further and last man Maurice Chambers clubbed four over long-on to edge the visitors to 268.
It was Carter who clipped a brace of twos through mid-wicket against Bandara to pass 271 and save his side the ignominy of batting again.
In the over before lunch Chambers (6) holed out to Tredwell at long-on against Bandara to end the innings just before 1pm and leave Carter unbeaten on 16.