Kent v Northants – Day 3 report

Friday 6th May 2011

Men’s First Team

Darren Stevens’ century saved Kent from a second innings defeat of the season but they are still almost certain to lose to Northamptonshire in their LV= County Championship clash at Canterbury.

Having conceded a first innings lead of 213 Kent looked odds on to capitulate to defeat as they slumped to 118 for six soon after lunch, but Stevens found allies in James Tredwell and then Adam Ball to guide their side to 255 for seven – a lead of just 42 runs.

With Tredwell, Stevens added 45 for the seventh wicket, to which the England spinner chipped in with nine runs, then teenager Ball played a responsible innings of 30 from 79 balls that helped Stevens reach an unbeaten 101.

That appeared wholly unlikely when the hosts lost six wickets in the mid-session having finally dismissed Northamptonshire for 493 some 20 minutes before lunch.

The collapse followed an opening stand of 59 between Sam Northeast and Rob Key, who were dismissed in quick succession for 29 and 34 respectively.

Northeast nicked to second slip while Key looked unhappy to be given leg before to counterpart Andrew Hall.

Martin van Jaarsveld edged a beauty from Lee Daggett to slip and Geraint Jones, pushing half forward, was lbw to Chaminda Vaas as Kent slipped to 98 for four.

Alex Blake charged down the pitch and was stumped before James Goodman was undone by one from Jack Brooks that appeared to keep low and trap him in front.

Tredwell went in the same manner to Vaas, but Stevens and Ball combined nicely throughout the final 90 minutes of the day.

That eased Kent into a 42 run lead by stumps, but with only three wickets remaining their fate would appear sealed.

Stevens became the first Kent batsman this season to score a hundred on home soil when a Daggett mis-field at long-leg allowed him to sprint through for a second run and post a 97-ball ton with 13 fours and a six.

Kent had made their first breakthrough of the day in the eighth over to finally end a seventh-wicket stand worth 134 in 39 overs between Northamptonshire captain Hall and Vaas.

The Sri Lankan had contributed 66 from 132 balls to the partnership before chasing a wide drive against Stevens only to edge through to the wicketkeeper Jones.

Ten overs later Hall moved to his second century of the summer against his former county in a fortunate manner.

Barely four weeks since reaching three figures against them at Wantage Road, Hall toe-ended an attempted pull against Neil Saker wide of backward point for a lucky couple of runs.

The South African fell three balls later after aiming an airy waft against Saker he too edged through to Jones to go for exactly 100, while the tail fell away as Saker claimed 3-111 and Adam Riley 4-145 on their Kent debuts.

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