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Hampshire wrap up last gasp win to leave Kent’s championship survival in doubt

Thursday 9th September 2010

Sam Northeast top scored with 71 in a losing cause at St Lawrence

Kent v Hampshire LV= County Championship Division 1, Day four in Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

Kent will need to secure victory at Headingley next week to save their place in the Championship top-flight after Hampshire landed a dramatic 130-run win with only five minutes of the match remaining.
With the allocation of 81 overs for Kent innings bowled out, last-wicket partners Simon Cook and Malinga Bandara did their utmost to bat out the final 10 minutes of the match.
But, in what would have been the penultimate over of the game, Simon Cook (2) prodded forward at seamer James Tomlinson to be superbly caught at short-leg by Jimmy Adams.
The defeat, Kent“s seventh of the campaign, means they will now have to win away against the title-chasing Tykes to avoid an immediate return to Division 2.
Kent started their second innings an hour into the final day chasing an improbable target of 378 in a minimum of 81 overs but the loss of two quick wickets left Hampshire as favourites to wrap up victory.
Having set off at the required rate of 4.6 an over, Kent lost opening bat Denly (10) as early as the fifth over when the right-hander instinctively followed a Cork leg-cutter to edge through to the wicketkeeper.
Second-wicket partners Sam Northeast and Rob Key almost made it to lunch only for Key to fall leg before in the penultimate over before the break when prodding forward to a Danny Briggs quicker ball.
After lunch Kent“s position worsened when Martin van Jaarsveld (5) and Geraint Jones (21) fell in quick succession, van Jaarsveld nicking to second slip while Jones went lbw to the wiles of Cork, who finished with four for 43.
Kent re-grouped through Sam Northeast, who hit a stoic 71 from 186 balls, and a counter-attacking cameo of 45 with four fours and six from player of the season Darren Stevens before a secondary post-tea collapse handed Hampshire their crucial win.
Stevens was squared up and bowled when driving at a near yorker-length ball from Cork and soon after Northeast fell lbw to a Tomlinson shooter.
Alex Blake, dropped on 12 and 30, rode his luck to reach 46 from 58 balls before he ill-advisedly clipped left-arm spinner Briggs to deep mid-wicket.
James Tredwell (14) was adjudged to have gloved a pull to the keeper as Briggs bagged four for 93 and, with the 80 overs up, Cork claimed the second new ball to wrap up his side“s win.
With the fourth delivery Cork had Matt Coles (1) caught off a leading edge, then, in time added on, Cook steered a lifter to short leg to ensure a miserable end to the campaign for the Men of Kent.
Hampshire used up the opening hour of the final day by batting on to add 83 to their overnight total in 12.2.overs.
In helping to accelerate his side“s run rate tempo, James Vince crashed three early boundaries the last off which a crisp off drive against Darren Stevens, raced to the ropes at long-off to post his 71-ball half-century with eight boundaries.
Soon after the visitors lost their skipper Dominic Cork (14) leg before when attempting to run a Malinga Bandara googly to third-man then Chris Wood (24) clipped back a return catch when driving at James Tredwell to make it 342 for eight.
Then, when James Tomlinson (12) holed out to Northeast at long-off with the total of 355 for nine Cork duly declared to leave Kent a minimum of 81 overs to chase a highly unlikely target.