Kent on the cusp of clinching the Division 2 title

Tuesday 15th September 2009

Geraint Jones raced to 89 from only 69 balls

Kent v Leicestershire LV County Championship, Division 2, Day two, Canterbury.
By Mark Pennell
TITLE chasing Kent scorched along at over five-an-over as the hosts reached stumps on Wednesday sitting pretty on 205 for four after 39 overs.
Having dismissed the visitors for 148 in a shade under four hours, the second division title-winner“s elect cantered to within one point of securing the LV Championship crown in the final session of day two.
They lost skipper Rob Key (12) early in the reply when he slashed a wide one from Andrew Harris to point where James Taylor took an athletic over-head chance.
With the home score on 75 Sam Northeast edged a push drive off Wayne White onto his own stumps to go for 21 then, after a searing 39-ball 50, Geraint Jones went 11 short of his sixth hundred of the summer. Kent were already five runs ahead when Jones, in attempting to run the ball down to third man, edged to his counterpart Paul Nixon to make it 153 for three.
Fourth wicket pair Martin van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens added 50 in 10 overs until Stevens, three overs from the close, chopped on when trying to force one from Jigar Naik through the off-side.
Van Jaarsveld (63*) and night watchman Amjad Khan (0*) suffered no further alarms leaving Kent to go into day three with a 57-run lead and with six wickets intact.
Earlier, seamer Simon Cook bagged five for 44 while new-ball spearhead Amjad Khan claimed four for 46 as Leicestershire were skittled out for 148 inside 56 overs.
Only three Leicestershire batsmen limped into double figures in a poor, end-of-term batting display after the East Midlands side lost the toss to be inserted on an overcast and windy morning.
Khan enjoyed his first breakthrough after eight overs when he pegged back the off-stump of right-hander Matt Boyce (8) via an inside edge then, four overs later, the Kentish paceman had left-handed Nixon held knee-high at second slip by van Jaarsveld from an edged defensive push.
Boeta Dippenaar watched from the other end as wickets continued to fall; Josh Cobb (8) played outside one from Ryan McLaren, playing his first game in six weeks, to go leg-before then, in the last over before lunch, Taylor (6) missed a Cook off-cutter and also went lbw with all four wickets going to bowling from the Nackington Road End.
Dippenaar, unbeaten on 20 come the lunch interval, reached 1,000 championship runs for the season in the process but he too went in the mid-session as Leicestershire“s collapse gathered momentum.
Six overs after the break Tom New (3) edged a Cook leg-cutter to keeper Geraint Jones then James Benning, having made an emergency dash to the opticians having damaged a contact lens, and followed one from Khan to edge to van Jaarsveld again at second slip.
Dippenaar, having posted a 108-ball 50 with eight fours, went four runs later following a serious lapse of judgement. Shouldering arms at one from Cook he could only watch as the ball seamed in to clip the outside of off stump.
The last there Foxes wickets added only another 30 runs as Jigar Naik (8) fenced at one from Khan that flew shoulder high and just to the right of Kemp at slip then Iain O“Brien also nicked to the cordon off Cook, this time to van Jaarsveld.
Cook wrapped up his third five-wicket return this season when White (8) edged to James Tredwell at third slip to wrap up the innings on the cusp of the tea interval.