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LV:CC: Jones digs in as Kent earn draw away in Somerset

Thursday 22nd July 2010

Somerset v Kent
LV= County Championship Division One
Day Four
Taunton

Kent won the toss and elected to field

Somerset first innings: 205 all out, 49.4 overs
de Bruyn 44, Suppiah 34, Trescothick 27
Stevens 4-38, Khan 3-63, Cook 2-65

Kent first innings: 172 all out, 45 overs
Denly 34, Northeast 24, Coles 23
Kartik 5-50, Thomas 3-21, Willoughby 2-46

Somerset second innings: 128 for two, 31 overs
Trescothick 80, Hildreth 48, de Bruyn 43
Coles 3-73, Bandara 2-67, Khan 1-60

Kent second innings: 191 for seven; 74.4 overs
Jones 47, Northeast 40, Denly 36
Kartik 5-57, Willoughby 1-22, Thomas 1-53

Match drawn

Kent withstood another magic spell from Indian spinner Murali Kartik to hold on for a crucial draw against Somerset at Taunton in their LV=County Championship division one.

The off-spinner complimented his first innings haul with another five wickets to end with match figures of ten for 107, but a stubborn battling knock from Geraint Jones (pictured – who made 47 from 150 balls) ensured Kent held on as they finished on 191 for seven chasing 325 in a shade over two sessions.

After a day three washout, the final day started with Somerset searching for quick runs, whilst Kent looked to make early inroads. It proved to be the home side that got their wish. Resuming on 128 for two – a lead of 161 – Marcus Trescothick and night-watchman Alfonso Thomas blazed away in the early overs as the visitors struggled to contain the scoring rate. The duo added 62 inside the first eight overs of the day before Trescothick fell to Amjad Khan for 80 with James Tredwell taking the catch at extra cover. Thomas followed for 30 in the very next over, bowled by Malinga Bandara, before Zander de Bruyn and James Hildreth joined forces to push the scoring rate forward.

An attacking stand of 91, from 74 balls, from the pair pushed Somerset towards a declaration total before Hildreth fell for 48 – a knock that included eight fours; caught behind off the bowling of Tredwell. South-African de Bruyn soon followed for 43 in similar fashion with Matt Coles collecting his second wicket. The home side finally declared on 301 for seven after Coles dismissed former Kent-man Peter Trego for four to finish with figures of 3-73. Kent were set a victory target of 325 off 71 overs, and went into the lunch interval on 12 for no loss after openers Sam Northeast and Joe Denly negotiated a tricky four over period.

With a draw looking the likely target for Kent, the youthful opening pair set about nullifying the Somerset attack and they diligently reached their fifty partnership in the 19th over. Then, just after he looked to be finding his range after a slow start, taking 11 of Murali Kartik“s fourth over, Denly perished for 36 as he popped a return catch back to Thomas. An hour into the afternoon session Kent had reached 67 for one, but it wasn“t long before Kartik began to weave his magic. Northeast became his first victim, caught by Arul Suppiah for 40, to make it 77 for two. Geraint Jones and Martin van Jaarsveld were then charged with averting a collapse similar to the first innings. Jones from then on proved to be the mainstay of the innings as van Jaarsveld was caught by Jos Buttler off Charl Willoughby for six, as Kent reached 100 for three at tea.

After the interval it was Kartik who threatened to carve out a victory as he twirled his way through the Kent middle-order. Firstly Alex Blake fell leg before to the overseas star for ten and then ace-performer Darren Stevens succumbed to Kartik for nine. At 134 for five and twenty overs still remaining, things started to look precarious for the visitors but Jones and James Tredwell occupied the crease for 15 overs as Kent saw the draw in sight. Kartik picked up his fourth victim when Tredwell fell leg before for 15 and then Jones became his tenth victim of the game, again lbw, three short of a battling half-century. By then though the duo had done enough to see Kent through to a draw as they took six points from the clash, Somerset went away with seven.

Picture:Getty Images