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Jones leads Kent to victory against Essex

Friday 2nd September 2011

Men’s First Team

Kent needed barely 90 minutes of the third day’s play to wrap up their six-wicket win over LV= County Championship Division Two rivals Essex.

Needing 70 to secure a Championship and Twenty20 double over Essex, Kent lost four top-order wickets inside 12 overs, only to be steered home by acting captain Geraint Jones with an unbeaten 28 from 14 balls.

Martin van Jaarsveld, batting with a runner due to a groin strain, defied the pain to add an equally useful 21 not out to see Kent to a 21-point success – their fifth of the campaign – with more than five sessions to spare.

The third day began with Essex, struggling in their second innings and only 64 ahead with one wicket intact.

That wicket fell to the 14th delivery of the day when on-loan David Balcombe had Tom Craddock caught behind for one leaving James Foster high and dry on 49 not out.

It gave Balcombe career-best match figures of 10 for 102 – his first 10-wicket match haul in county cricket.

With a day and 91 overs to pursue their modest target of 70, Kent lost Daniel Bell-Drummond to a loose drive to short extra cover then Sam Northeast, pinned leg before on the back foot, with both wickets going to Graham Napier.

Bell-Drummond soon returned to run for the injured van Jaarsveld, but wickets continued to fall as Darren Stevens edged behind to give Napier three for 42 and Joe Denly fell lbw for 17 to a shooting off-cutter from David Masters.

It proved the final success for Essex, however, as van Jaarsveld combined with Jones to see Kent over the winning line.

Jones played a captain’s cameo that included six boundaries, while van Jaarsveld plundered a six and four off Napier to secure Kent’s victory just before 12.30pm.

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ECB Pitch Panel rates Canterbury pitch 'poor'

An ECB Pitch Panel comprising John Jameson and Tony Pigott (Pitch Liaison Officers) was convened to consider the pitch used for the LV= County Championshipmatch at Canterbury commencing on 31 August 2011 between Kent and Essex.

After interviewing the Umpires, the Captain and Coach of both teams and the Kent Head Groundsman, the Pitch Panel determined that the pitch had demonstrated excessive unevenness of bounce and should therefore be rated “poor”.As a consequence and according to regulations, Kent are penalised eight points which will be deducted from their aggregate of 2011 LV= County Championship points.

Commenting on the decision, Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Clifford said; “The hectic August schedule at Canterbury and bad weather last week have made pitch preparation difficult, but we accept the findings of the Pitch Panel, and do not plan to appeal.“

Photo by Sarah Ansell