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Familiar tale for Kent

Hampshire CCC

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Kent made a hash of their second successive LV= County Championship run-chase and could only draw with Division Two promotion rivals Hampshire at Tunbridge Wells.

After running out of steam against Northamptonshire in similar circumstances at Canterbury last month, Kent made pretty much the same mistakes again and ultimately banked only five points to Hampshire’s six.

Having agreed a run-chase deal, the captains duly endorsed a brace of declarations that left Kent with a minimum of 70 overs to reach 304.

After watching rain falling and umpires inspecting sodden conditions for the best part of three days, the 500 or so supporters who took advantage of free final-day admission to The Nevill Ground at least enjoyed sunshine as well as some entertaining cricket.

Sam Northeast

Sam Northeast struck a half-century but Kent were unable to chase a victory target of 304 and, in the end, drew with Hampshire today

For their part, Hampshire declared half an hour before lunch on 303 for eight - immediately after posting their third batting bonus point - and challenged Kent to an afternoon pursuit at a rate of 4.34 an over.

The hosts set off in sprightly fashion through Rob Key and Sam Northeast, only to slightly lose their way after the interval.

But, with the asking rate mounting and only 75 on the board, Key went leg before for 35; pushing well forward to Kabir Ali, the ball brushed pad before bat and the skipper was sent packing.

Ben Harmison, struggling for timing and form, hung around for 32 balls, making 11 runs before - in a moment of self-sacrifice - clipping Dimitri Mascarenhas straight to midwicket.

Kent promoted Darren Stevens in a bid to add impetus, but his cameo of 28 ended with a sliced drive off the wily Mascarenhas that picked out the fielder at deep cover.

Recalled opener Northeast kept the board ticking via a 94-ball fifty but, with his score on 79, drove on the up against David Balcombe and saw Jimmy Adams dive to his left and claim an athletic catch at midwicket.

Brendan Nash could only watch on as Michael Carberry claimed a fine low catch following a manufactured cut shot, after which another brilliant effort from the same fielder saw the end of Matt Coles off James Tomlinson.

Michael Powell joined forces with Geraint Jones thereafter and both reined in the big strokes to ensure Kent would at least draw; the sides ultimately shook hand at 18:00pm with the hosts on 220 for six.

At the start of the final day, Hampshire batted for another 90 minutes and added 74 to their overnight total, Liam Dawson finishing 134 not out.

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