Roderick keeps Gloucestershire afloat
A career-best 152 not out by Gloucestershire's young wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick thwarted Kent's hopes of securing a three-day LV= County Championship win in Canterbury.
The 21-year-old South African dug in for five hours to help the visitors limp to the close on 307 for nine, trailing by 91.
Though Kent claimed the extra half-hour in a bid to wrap up the their second win of the season, Roderick held firm to give his side an outside chance of securing a draw should the forecast rain arrive on the final day.
In pursuit of 399 for a fourth championship win of the campaign, promotion-chasing Gloucestershire quickly slumped to 13 for three.
Skipper Michael Klinger edged a Charlie Shreck leg-cutter to slip attempting a flashing cover drive; Benny Howell was caught low down by Sam Northeast at cover and Chris Dent, after playing one scoring shot in 36 minutes, was caught behind following one angled across his body from Calum Haggett.
Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall temporarily steadied the ship before the latter was held down the leg-side off Mitchell Claydon.
Roderick helped Gidman add 55 either side of lunch, but the senior batsman was then caught at first slip off the impressive Haggett for 47.
Will Gidman failed to hang around before inside-edging Darren Stevens behind, but Roderick found a willing ally in Tom Smith.
Their seventh-wicket partnership realised 109 and Roderick was able to celebrate his maiden championship century, from 157 balls with 14 fours.
Smith fell for 32 to the fourth delivery with the second new ball, Geraint Jones again holding on behind the stumps after Charlie Shreck had found the edge.
An excellent diving take from Jones saw off David Payne before James Tredwell pegged back Craig Miles’ off stump to make it 299 for nine.
Roderick refused to budge, however, and was still there when play was finally brought to a halt.
The day started with the drama of two declarations after the captains, presumably with one eye on the miserable weather forecast for Saturday, contrived a third-day chase.
Klinger declared his side’s first innings on 80 without loss and Kent batted for four minutes, enabling the visitors to make good their poor over-rate, and added four runs before putting Gloucestershire back in.