Honours even at Wantage Road

Friday 20th September 2013

Men’s First Team

Honours even at Wantage Road

On the final day of Kent’s LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Northamptonshire, David Sales enhanced the home side’s promotion bid as he moved past 14,000 first-class runs.

The evergreen batsman made a superb 110 from 192 balls, while all-rounder James Middlebrook also contributed a century at Wantage Road, putting another 22 runs on his overnight score of 87 to add a season-best batting performance to a career-best bowling effort of six for 78 in Kent's total of 418 all out.

Alex Wakely also cashed in with 55 from 79 balls meaning each of Northamptonshire's top four – Stephen Peters made 68 on day three – had made it past 50.

Their efforts helped the home side rack up a total of 431 for five before declaring, claiming maximum batting bonus points to leave them needing five points at Worcestershire next week to guarantee the second promotion spot.

Rivals Essex, who drew with Glamorgan at Chelmsford, are 20 points adrift going into their final match, at Hampshire.

Northamptonshire had begun day four on 183 for one after good work from Middlebrook, Peters and Sales had put them in a good position.

Middlebrook had looked extremely accomplished on his way to an unbeaten 87 the previous evening and he brought up his century from 168 balls.

But the 36-year-old, registering his highest score of the season, eventually fell for 109, edging Adam Ball's delivery into the hands of Sam Billings at slip.

Sales, 35, continued to fly, though, and made his way to the half-century mark with a single off Darren Stevens.

New batsman Wakely opened up a bit with a couple of fours and a six before being given a reprieve by Ball's failure to pouch a Stevens delivery.

Wakely was to make the most of that let-off as he continued to smash the ball around the ground, racking up a well-earned 50 in 59 balls.

He was to perish for 55, Charlie Shreck trapping the Northamptonshire man lbw, but not before Sales had steadily made his way to a century, his 29th in the first-class game.

The 35-year-old was to depart soon after as Shreck, who finished the innings with figures of two for 80, had him caught by Billings.

But that didn't stop Northamptonshire claiming the full batting bonus points they desired as Rob Keogh's unbeaten 32 and Andrew Hall's 35 got them past the 400 mark.

Hall was dismissed by Ben Harmison after tea but Keogh (32 not out) and Matt Spriegel, who finished unbeaten on eight, saw their side past Kent's total before the declaration came.

Click here for the scorecard