Kent face backs-to-the-wall effort to stave of Nevill defeat

Wednesday 17th June 2009

Kent v Essex, LV County Championship, Tunbridge Wells day three.
By Mark Pennell
KENT will need to survive three sessions or score an unlikely 371 runs if they are to preserve their unbeaten championship tag here at The Nevill after they reached 107 for one after 40 overs of their second innings.
Earlier on day three Essex batted on to reach 320 for six declared to leave Rob Key“s side to chase a huge victory target of 478 in the remaining 130 overs of this Festival Week clash.
Key and Joe Denly started stoically, posting 84 for the first wicket in 28th over – it represented the county“s best opening stand of the season.
But, with his score on 21, Key shouldered arms to a David Masters off-cutter that nipped in to brush his off stump.
Denly raced on to post a 78-ball 50 with 10 fours and had reached 74 by stumps while James Tredwell, promoted to No3 to help see off spinner Danish Kaneria, was unbeaten with four.
Having decided against enforcing the follow-on on Wednesday Essex, resuming on their overnight score of 109 for three, lost only three more wickets while adding 211 to their third day total.
Kent spurned one early opportunity when, with his score on 38, Varun Chopra top-edged a hook to long-leg where substitute fielder Sam Northeast caught the catch only to step over the ropes and gift Chopra a six.
Chopra went on to a 98-ball 50 in two hours for his part in a fourth-wicket stand worth 95 in 32 overs with his skipper Mark Pettini.
The stand finally ended when Chopra (58), driving hard outside off against Ryan McLaren, got a thin edge to second slip where Martin van Jaarsveld took a magnificent low catch.
Pettini reached his 50 from 127-balls with eight fours and a hundred from 212 balls and with 16 boundaries for his highest score in any form of cricket this summer and his first ton since September 2006.
At the other end Graham Napier hit a lusty 48 from 45 balls while Ryan McLaren dismissed James Foster (37) and Ryan ten Doeschate (0) from successive balls to stunning slip catches by Martin van Jaarsveld and Justin Kemp at second and first slip respectively. McLaren finished with three for 72.
Photo by ARPics