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Tredwell and Mahmood have leaders Gloucestershire on the slide

Wednesday 1st July 2009

Off-spinner James Tredwell claimed two for 50

Kent v Gloucestershire LV County Championship day three, Beckenham.
By Mark Pennell
A RECORD 10th wicket stand between Simon Cook and Ryan McLaren helped Kent turn a losing position into a likely winning one in Beckenham where Gloucestershire closed day three on 131 for five, needing 201 more for victory.
Having set the visitors a victory target of 332 in a minimum 150 overs, Kent secured one wicket in the 22 overs through to tea and then bagged four more afterwards leaving the visitors facing a probable second defeat of the campaign.
Promoted to bowl with the new ball ahead of the off-colour McLaren, Azhar Mahmood secured the first breakthrough when William Porterfield (11) miscued a pull to mid-off.
After the break, James Tredwell“s arm-ball grazed the outside edge of Kadeer Ali“s bat and flew to Justin Kemp at slip to send the right-hander packing for 38 scored in two hours.
Tredwell then fired in a quicker ball to snare Alex Gidman (12) leg before shouldering arms and Mahmood returned to have Hamish Marshall (45) caught at second slip off one that left the right-hander and squared him up in defence.
In his next over Mahmood accounted for Craig Spearman (13) leg before. Hampered by a fractured right index finger, Spearman missed a leg-cutter by a good way when playing slightly across the line to leave his side in all sorts of trouble going into the final day.
But it was the batting heroics of Cook and McLaren earlier in the day that helped ease Kent into the box seat by improving the home score to an unlikely second innings total of 266 all out.
Kent“s 10th wicket partners came together an hour into the third“s day“s play with their side on the slide at 179 for nine and proceeded to bat the next 25 overs in adding 87 in a shade over an hour and forty minutes.
Both men hit their best scores of the season, McLaren 42 from 71 balls and with four fours and Cook a belligerent, unbeaten 40 with six fours and from 62 balls as they beat Kent“s previous best last wicket stand against Gloucestershire; 77 set by CS ‘Father“ Marriott and Leslie Todd at Canterbury in 1929.
The stand eventually ended just after 2.30pm on another scorching hot day when McLaren tamely clipped off his legs to pick out mid-wicket and give left-arm spinner Vikram Banerjee good figures of four for 58.
Yet it was pace bowler Steven Kirby who proved to be Kent“s nemesis on Wednesday afternoon and again on Thursday morning as he took his second innings tally to five for 44 and seven wickets in the game.
Kirby struck in the sixth over of the morning when he pinned night watchman Amjad Khan on the back leg to send him packing leg before for five to secure his first five-wicket haul this summer.
Five overs later, the first ball of the day from Banerjee sat up asking to be hit, but sadly for Justin Kemp (41) he clattered it straight into the hands of Alex Gidman at cover.
Two runs later Tredwell (6) clipped a near half-volley from Jonathan Lewis straight to Gemaal Husain at mid-on bringing together Cook and McLaren for their backs-to-the-wall effort either side of the lunch break.