Kent denied as Croft exits on a high
Robert Croft claimed a wicket with his final ball in first-class cricket as Glamorgan ended Kent’s promotion hopes with a day to spare in their final LV= County Championship Division Two match of the season.
The 42-year-old off-spinner had Charlie Shreck caught at long-off as Kent were bowled out in their second innings for 280 after following on. Croft was given a guard of honour by his team-mates when he walked off.
Glamorgan were left requiring a mere 61 for victory at the SWALEC Stadium and duly triumphed by seven wickets, following the early losses of Nick James, Stewart Walters and Will Bragg.
The hosts took 23 points to ensure they will finish at least seventh in the table, with Kent taking three.
Kent had started the day with a mountain to climb to get back into a game they needed to win to have any hopes of gaining promotion to Division One.
They resumed on 33 for two, needing a further 187 to avoid an innings defeat.
Sam Northeast and Brendan Nash survived the first 15 overs, taking the total on to 91 for two before John Glover forced the former to edge behind.
That heralded a mini-collapse as Glover removed Nash, who hit 50, and Darren Stevens with consecutive deliveries.
Nash was surprised by a delivery which bounced higher than expected and gloved behind before Stevens went leg before for a golden duck.
Croft came into the attack 13 minutes before lunch and was struck for six over long-on from the final ball of his first over by Geraint Jones.
Jones and Michael Powell went on to frustrate Glamorgan for 30.3 overs, putting on 83.
It was the introduction of Croft for a second spell that finally undid Powell, who was caught at slip by Jim Allenby for 41.
Jones went on to record his seventh championship half-century of the season as he helped to knock off the arrears and ensure Glamorgan would have to bat again.
Yet Kent suffered a double setback in the space of two balls as Jim Allenby trapped James Tredwell and Matt Coles lbw playing across the line, leaving Kent 244 for eight.
Another 13 had been added before Jones was caught at deep midwicket for 81 after top-edging a hook off Allenby.
Croft then produced the perfect end to his professional career with the wicket of Shreck, caught by Nash.