Kent set up thrilling finale

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Kent ensured the fight for promotion from LV= County Championship Division Two will be a three-team battle in the final round of fixtures after they beat leaders Derbyshire.

Their 222-run victory at Canterbury leaves Derbyshire top on 173 points, with Yorkshire a point behind and Kent now six adrift.

Today’s 21-point success means Kent are very much alive ahead of the closing clash at Glamorgan. Had they not won, Derbyshire and Yorkshire could have been celebrating tonight.

The top two head into their games against Hampshire and Essex fully aware the fight is not over and, in Derbyshire's case, they only have themselves to blame.

Darren Stevens

Darren Stevens starred with 4-37 as Kent beat Division Two leaders Derbyshire to set up a very interesting finale to the promotion race next week

Skittled for 181 second time around, they fell some way short of an ambitious victory target of 403. A draw would sufficed, but only Usman Khawaja was able to offer significant resistance in compiling 53.

Starting the day on 30 for one, getting anywhere near the winning line was always going to be tricky for Derbyshire - especially against a home side who sensed a chance of getting their noses back into the promotion hunt.

The visitors would have been hopeful of hanging around until the close, though, with a shared result more than likely to have been enough for them.

When opener Paul Borrington was pinned in front by Matt Coles for 17, it appeared unlikely that things would run smoothly.

Wes Durston lost his wicket in the same manner to leave Derby 69 for three and although Khawaja progressed to a half-century, his dismissal, lbw to Darren Stevens, signalled the beginning of the end.

Brendan Nash threw down the stumps with Ross Whiteley short of his ground and without a run to his name, while Dan Redfern feathered Stevens behind to Geraint Jones.

David Wainwright made painstaking progress in amassing 21 but lost his stumps to Mark Davies and things were wrapped up quickly after that.

Stevens accounted for Tony Palladino and Tim Groenewald to finish with 4-37, before Coles put the seal on matters by snaring last man Mark Turner.

Derbyshire must now hope to finish the job on home soil against the Clydesdale Bank 40 finalists.

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