Match Report: Kent vs. Northamptonshire

Match Report: Kent vs. Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire were the visitors to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Kent’s final LV= Insurance County Championship match before the beginning of the Vitality Blast.

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Day Four Report:

Kent drew their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Northamptonshire, despite an engrossing final day at Canterbury.

An obdurate Adam Rossington eventually steered the visitors to safety with an unbeaten 59, but only after a brave declaration by the home side on their overnight score of 335 for five, when they were still 62 runs behind.

Nathan Gilchrist took three for 57 and Darren Stevens two for 42 as the hosts scented an unlikely Group Three victory, only for the game to drift away in the final session, Northamptonshire finishing on 184 for eight declared.

With the visitors reluctant to risk the eight points for the draw by contriving a finish, Kent gambled on declaring early in the hope of recording their first win of the season and they were rewarded with four wickets in the morning session.

Darren Stevens struck in the second over, removing Emilio Gay LBW for eight and he then had Ricardo Vasconcelos caught behind for nine. After three matches without a wicket, Miguel Cummins, on the last day of his spell with Kent, finally looked like the bowler they thought they were getting when they signed him, and a spell of serious menace saw him get Rob Keogh caught behind for 12.

Jordan Cox then took a sharp catch at first slip off Gilchrist to remove Gareth Berg for 21, leaving Northants on 70 for four at lunch.

The afternoon session was fascinatingly balanced: every time Northants seemed to be heading for safety, Kent took a wicket. Gilchrist struck again in his first over, getting Saif Zaib caught behind for six, but Cummings was denied a second wicket when Luke Procter, batting despite an injury, edged him to third slip, where he was put down by Marcus O’Riordan.

After putting on 50 with Rossington, Procter was brilliantly run out for 17 by Daniel Bell-Drummond, after being sent back by his captain while attempting a single.

Cox took another excellent slip catch off Gilchrist to dismiss Tom Taylor for 12 and when Nathan Buck was lbw for six to Joe Denly the lead was a gettable 212, with 45 overs remaining.

However, the visitors had pushed on to 156 for eight at tea and the only chance of a tepid evening session came when Simon Kerrigan was dropped at short leg by Tawanda Muyeye off Denly. The captains shook hands on the draw at 4.50pm, Kent taking 14 points and Northamptonshire 13.

Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond said: “I don’t think they would have been taken by surprise too much (by the declaration) but I don’t think they knew when we were going to declare and when Joe Denly and Jordan Cox put their foot down, along with myself and Jack Leaning, I think maybe then they were thinking we’ve got a game on here.

“It was good for both teams to be honest because any result was possible. They could have tried to get ahead and give us a little chase. It was good that there was a crowd back in and it was great that the cricket was competitive right the way through.”

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Day Three Report:

Ollie Robinson hit a century and claimed the 100th first-class dismissal of his career as Kent fought back on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Northants at Canterbury.

The wicketkeeper hit 120 from 119 balls, including 16 fours and three sixes as Kent reached 330 for five in reply to Northants 392 all out, a deficit of 62. Jordan Cox was Kent’s next highest scorer with 90 and Joe Denly made 63.

Simon Kerrigan took two for 80 as Northants took a cluster of late wickets, but barring a sporting declaration tomorrow, the match is almost certain to end as a draw.

Earlier Darren Stevens took five for 77, the 31st five-wicket haul of his career, and Matt Quinn claimed four for 86 as Northants added just 30 runs to their overnight score of 362 for five, following a delayed start.

Saif Zaib fell to the fifth ball of the day, edging Stevens behind for 21 and becoming Robinson’s 100th victim after a brilliant one-handed dive. Tom Taylor was LBW for 25 in Stevens’ next over and Quinn then took two wickets from three balls, getting Nathan Buck caught behind for four and removing Gareth Berg, caught by Jack Leaning at first slip for 10.

Northants missed out on a fourth bonus point when Stevens had Ben Sanderson caught behind for four and Kent’s openers responded with their first century stand of the season.

Robinson, dropped on 48 by Berg, reached his century when he steered Berg through point for four.

He then hooked Berg for a third six over long leg and finally fell LBW to Buck, a split-second after a car alarm went off, although he didn’t appear to be distracted. Cox reached his third half-century with a glanced four to third man and subsequently smashed Kerrigan for a six into the top tier of the Frank Woolley stand.

Denly was dropped on 38 when he edged Taylor to second slip, only for the ball to crash into Berg’s ribs. He passed 50 by smashing Kerrigan over the Woolley stand, before Kerrigan finally tasted success when he trapped Cox LBW.

Rob Keogh had Denly caught at deep square leg by Zaib and Daniel Bell-Drummond was lbw to Kerrigan for 19. Zaib then had Leaning caught behind in the penultimate over for 24.

At Stumps, Ollie Robinson said: “I feel like it’s been a bit of a long time coming. I feel like I’ve been pretty good this year and haven’t quite got the score I wanted, but I’ve got it today so I’m pretty pleased.

“The celebration was a bit of everything really and my Dad was here as well so it was nice for him to see it. There was a bit of relief and a bit of excitement in it.”

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Day Two Report:

Play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on day two of Kent’s LV= Insurance County Championship game with Northants at Canterbury.

The visitors were set to resume on 362 for five after dominating for most of the first day, but rain set in overnight and continued throughout the morning. With the outfield covered in puddles and no prospect of an improvement the umpires decided to call stumps at 3.35 pm.

When, or if, play resumes on Saturday, Saif Zaib is 17 not out while Tom Taylor is unbeaten on 19. Northants are currently third in Group Three, but are just two points behind second-placed Yorkshire, having picked up four bonus points so far, while Kent have just one and remain bottom of the table.

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Day One Report:

Northamptonshire were in charge for most of day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, until a mini-revival from Kent left them on 362 for five at Stumps.

Emilio Gay hit 101, his maiden first-class century, while Luke Procter made 81 and Ricardo Vasconcelos 66 as Northants dominated until an hour after Tea.

The new ball then helped bring Kent back into the Group Three game, Darren Stevens taking two for 52 and Matt Quinn two for 77.

Kent lost the toss for the seventh time out of eight this season and they were once again left to rue their luck as the visitors chose to bat, Vasconcelos and Gay exploiting a benign surface to put on 135 for the first wicket.

Kent bowled with some hostility but no real menace and the only breakthrough came in the 26th over when Quinn, having switched to the Nackington Road end, had Vasconcelos caught behind.

The visitors reached 141 for one at Lunch and Gay continued to play with measured aggression after the break, passing his previous highest first-class score of 77 by hitting Marcus O’Riordan for six over long on. He reached three figures when he glanced Jack Leaning to square leg for two, but he was subsequently out to the same bowler without adding to his score, caught behind after slashing at a wide delivery.

Northants were 246 for two at tea and they eased to 314 without further loss before Quinn had Procter LBW in the 82nd over. Stevens then struck twice, luring Rob Keogh into an edge to first slip, where he was caught by Jordan Cox for 38, before sending Adam Rossington’s off stump flying in his next over, bowling him for four.

When Stevens was replaced at the Nackington Road end the pressure eased and Saif Zaib and Tom Taylor batted through the final half hour, reaching 17 and 19 not out respectively at the Stumps.

Kent’s Tawanda Muyeye said: “The wicket wasn’t on our side really and it’s a good thing we dug deep till the end. Spirits are pretty high so hopefully tomorrow we’ll come and finish the job

“I think there’s going to be some clouds tomorrow and we’ve just got the new ball so hopefully we’ll get something out of that, we’ll get our pads on and bat all day tomorrow.”

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