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Northants tailenders resist as Qayyum opens account

A third draw in three matches at Wantage Road became the most likely outcome after the third day between Northamptonshire and Kent. The visitors closed 88 for 1 in their second innings, trailing by 14.

Despite the presence of more grass on this wicket, another slow, low pitch has been the result and though Northamptonshire were able to build up a first-innings lead of 102, Kent began their reply relatively comfortably in 29 overs after tea with the wicket continuing to play well, only losing Tom Latham bowled by Monty Panesar for 24. Daniel Bell-Drummond closed 45 not out with Joe Denly on 18.

Northants applied some pressure with Panesar and offspinner Rob Keogh operating for most of the evening session and the odd delivery misbehaving but for the third match running, weather may deny the chance of seeing what a full four days deterioration may produce at Northampton.

The hosts will be frustrated after building up a useful lead in the afternoon with fifties from Rory Kleinveldt and Ollie Stone.

Kleinveldt struck six fours and six in his 43-ball fifty – his second of the season – adding a stand of exactly 50 with Stone for the ninth wicket. It followed the rapid progress with Adam Rossington earlier in the day – the pair put on 70 in just 53 balls – before Rossington fell caught behind in the fourth over after lunch for 78.

The wicket of Rossington stymied the charge to a big lead but Stone raised a maiden fifty, brought up in 83 balls with eight fours and celebrated with a little punch of the air, and shared a record partnership for the tenth wicket for Northants against Kent – 49 with Panesar. But the No. 11 should have been caught in the slips without scoring when the score was 449.

But the miss allowed Northants to build on a sprightly half-century from Rossington in the morning session. They began the day 190 behind but by lunch had reduced the deficit to just 30.

Rossington has been in good touch this season and here showed power, excellent timing and the odd deft touch too in reaching his second fifty of the year in only 46 balls with five fours and three sixes – two of them slog swept off Darren Stevens, who only bowled two overs on day three and did not field for most of the afternoon.

Kent did chip away with three wickets. Richard Levi fell to the first over of the second new ball, driving Mitch Claydon to Stevens at first slip. Josh Cobb played the same stroke to the same fielder to give Imran Qayyum a maiden first-class wicket – he finished with 3 for 158.

Matt Hunn also struck, taking out Rob Keogh’s off stump for 9 in his first innings of the season. But it was Northants’ morning with Rossington in particular helping them add 160 runs in the session – comfortably raising a fourth batting bonus point.

Scorecard

Kent are next in action on Friday in the opening match of the NatWest T20 Blast

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