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Northeast and Tredwell break records as Essex seal win

Wednesday 6th July 2016

Men’s First Team

Sam Northeast and James Tredwell's Kent record eighth-wicket stand of 222 kept Essex at bay for two sessions before the hosts secured victory on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Chelmsford.

The Kent pair had come together seven overs before tea on the third day and were finally separated 80 overs and just over five hours later in mid-afternoon on the final day.

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Once Tredwell had gone for a career-best 124 – the highest ever score by a Kent number nine batsman – Essex wrapped up the Kent second innings in four more overs before knocking off the nine runs required for victory in 10 balls to claim a maximum 24 points. That took them back above Kent at the top of Division Two by 18 points.

Northeast, with his third century of the season, and second in four innings, remained 166 not out and hit Graham Napier for four that meant Essex had to bat again. He faced 320 balls and hit 23 fours.

Kent had been asked to score 362 to avoid an innings defeat and took up 122 overs, and three and a half sessions, in doing so. After being 138 for seven when Tredwell joined his captain, and after nearly five sessions in the field when Essex amassed 569 runs, it was a truly Herculean effort.

A weary Tredwell finally went on 124 – one better than his unbeaten 123 scored against the New Zealanders in 2008. He pulled Quinn to mid-on where Ryan ten Doesechate pouched the catch. He had batted for 269 balls and hit 20 fours.

The last two wickets offered little support for Northeast. Kagiso Rabada skied almost vertically and James Foster moved round in front of the stumps to take.

Mitch Claydon then gave Quinn his fourth wicket when he lofted to Ravi Bopara at deep square leg.

Quinn was the pick of the Essex bowlers. He almost had Tredwell twice in one over, first when he slashed, but slashed hard at a ball that cleared the slip cordon, and when the batsman got an inside edge that just missed off-stump and raced away to fine leg for another four.

Otherwise it was plain sailing on a sunny pre-lunch session. The only interruptions to a fine example in concentration came when batting records when announced. The first was when they beat the 157 of Alan Hilder and Charlie Wright for Kent versus Essex, which dated back to a match at Gravesend in 1924.

When Tredwell cut Bopara for his 19th four to backward point to reach his century, it also set a Kent eight-wicket stand against all-comers. They went on to eclipse the 177 that stood to Geraint Jones and Yasir Arafat since 2007 when they thrashed Warwickshire all around Canterbury.

Northeast, who was dropped on 30 on the third night, survived another chance 115 runs later. Quinn was the unfortunate bowler on the first occasion, and straight after lunch he had the Kent captain hitting firmly but uppishly to midwicket where Dan Lawrence dived to his left but spilled the catch.

Northeast scored only 29 runs in the morning session, but he came alive with a powerful square-cut off Quinn that brought up his 150 off 299 balls, with 20 fours.

As records continued to fall, Tredwell went past his highest Championship score of 116 not out nine years ago against Yorkshire – and then beat his career best.

The victory means Essex are likely to regain the Mike Denness Challenge Shield after home wins in the NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup.

Kent captain Sam Northeast, who put on a Kent record 222 for the eighth-wicket with James Tredwell said: “I think we can look back at it now with a sense of pride. It still doesn’t make me feel any better at the moment.
"We nearly dared to believe that we were going to do it. We just kept ticking it over, and it’s a shame it had to end like that in a collapse.
“But it was great character from Tredders. It sums him up as a person really. In those tricky situations he comes out fighting. It is huge credit to him.
“As a batting unit we would admit we should have got more runs in the first innings, and even in the second here on a pitch that got flatter as it went on. We have put some great totals on the board this year and hopefully Tredders, too, can kick on from this.”


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