Kaneria spins Essex to victory in Tunbridge Wells

Thursday 18th June 2009

Joe Denly’sexcellent 123 with 17 fours and two sixeswas all in a losing cause

Kent v Essex LV County Championship, Tunbridge Wells, Day four.
By Mark Pennell
KENT“S Joe Denly scored his second successive championship hundred at Tunbridge Wells but it was not enough to prevent Essex from securing a 122-run victory with 15.4 overs to spare at a sunny Nevill Ground.
Denly batted throughout the morning session of the final day and then on until 2pm for his season“s best 123, but a lapse in concentration led to his downfall and left the door to an Essex win ajar.
It was Pakistan wrist spinner Danish Kaneria who prized that door further open with six for 92 from 42 overs – his fifth haul of five or more wickets for Essex.
Denly had made light of being in the ‘nervous 90s“ by clubbing Kaneria for a second six over mid-wicket then, in the next over from Graham Napier, he glanced two fours in the space of three balls to move to a 176-ball hundred in 225 minutes.
Having switched to the Railway End, Kaneria ended an excellent 69-run stand for the third wicket when he bowled Geraint Jones (28) through the gate with a googly that plucked out middle stump.
But Denly“s 236-ball innings with 17 fours and two sixes ended when visiting skipper Mark Pettini introduced occasional off-spinner Alistair Cook. His sixth ball, a looping half-volley tempted Denly into an ill advised drive that he miscued high to David Masters at extra cover.
Then, to make matters much gloomier, Martin van Jaarsveld stoic innings of 73 from 100 balls ended when he was pinned on the back foot by Masters to go leg before.
Then, to the ball before tea, Kaneria hit Justin Kemp (6) on the front pad as he pushed hesitantly forward to be given leg before to make it 321-6 at the interval making the pursuit of the victory target of 478 even more unlikely.
Kent“s demise continued after the break when Ryan McLaren (1) was bowled by a Kaneria googly then Darren Stevens, on 43 from 76 balls, inexplicably holed out to long-on to gift Kaneria another scalp.
Amjad Khan hit a cameo 16 before he chopped on when attempting a back-foot force then last man Robbie Joseph (1) skied an attempted pull off Napier back to the bowler to leave Essex to celebrate their second win of t season and Kent to contemplate their first defeat of the four-day campaign.

Photo by ARPics