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Northeast reaches career-best as Kent build lead on day 3

Sam Northeast scored a career-best 189 as Kent built a 141-run lead on a rain-reduced day three of the Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire.

The skipper was ably assisted by Darren Stevens' 67th first class 50 to earn four batting bonus points before some lusty late hitting from Calum Haggett (33) and Matt Hunn, who swept the last three balls of the day for three huge legside sixes.

Kent will look to declare early on the final morning and aim to take ten wickets to complete back-to-back Championship wins.

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The Kent captain ploughed on to move past his previous championship best of 165 against Derbyshire at Canterbury in 2012, then Northeast set a new career best in all first-class cricket, bettering the 176 he scored against Loughborough MCCU at Canterbury in 2011.

Alex Blake went without adding to his overnight score of 45 prodding forward to one from Craig Miles and nicked low to Chris Dent at slip to end a fourth-wicket stand worth 104 in 28.4 overs with Northeast.

Darren Stevens started his innings with positive intent, but received a stroke of luck on 14 when he was caught at mid-on off a no ball by Craig Miles and dropped by Kieran Noema-Barnett at slip on 31 off the bowling of Josh Shaw.

Northeast’s vigil ended after 392 minutes for 189 when he played round a leg-cutter from Shaw that held its line against the slope to clip off stump. The 26-year-old scored 21 fours and a six and departed with his side 39 runs ahead.

Stevens went soon after the resumption and only two deliveries after posting a 77-ball half-century with three fours and a brace of sixes. Shaw looked too embarrassed to celebrate the dismissal, however, after the Kent batsman uppercut his rank long-hop into the hands of Ian Cockbain at deep backward point.
Five runs later, Mitch Claydon (8) slogged and missed against off-spinner Jack Taylor to become the first victim of the match to fall to spin and, with their lead on 89, the players fled the field to another downpour and the loss of a further 17 overs.


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