Spoils shared at Chelmsford
Essex and Kent played out a tame draw in their LV= County Championship Division Two clash at Chelmsford.
Kent finished on 92 for two in their second innings, a lead of 136 after Essex had been bowled out for 181 on a day when two of their leading batsmen appeared late in the order with runners because of injuries.
Alviro Petersen, a victim of a turned ankle, came in at number seven but soon dispensed with his runner Tom Westley after just five deliveries.
He remained to hobble his way to 20 before chipping Mark Davies to short midwicket while Ravi Bopara, a victim of a quad injury, was last out in bizarre fashion.
He had reached 19 in just over an hour and a half when he suddenly raced down the pitch to the bowler’s end after playing a ball from Davies into the covers.
His runner, Greg Smith, had covered the same distance alongside the edge of the square when Bopara realised his mistake and tried to return to the striker’s end as he was run out by the proverbial mile.
After Essex had resumed on 94 for two in reply to Kent’s 225, Smith was caught at slip off Charlie Shreck without addition and James Foster arrived to register just one scoring stroke in an innings spanning 39 balls.
He was put out of his misery when Brendan Nash took a fine catch at cover-point to give paceman Ivan Thomas his first championship wicket.
The 20-year-old was soon to collect another when he got rid of Mark Pettini, the only batsman to bat with any assurance. Pettini was within eight runs of his first championship century for three years when he was trapped leg before to end an effort that contained 11 fours and lasted just short of three-and-a-half hours.
Davies, who occasionally made the ball lift off a length, was the pick of the Kent bowlers, finishing with 4-20 from 24.4 overs, 14 of which were maidens.
Shreck returned 3-59 from 20 overs, while Thomas emerged with 2-29 from 16 overs.
Skipper Robert Key was content to use the remainder of the match as a net when Kent went in again and reached the close unbeaten with 40.
Kent claimed seven points for their endeavours while Essex took six.