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Essex ease past faltering Kent

Essex CCC

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Kent slumped to their second defeat of the LV= County Championship season with a full day of their 161st Canterbury Week clash versus Essex still remaining as the visitors chalked up a resounding seven-wicket win.

Having resumed on nine for three, Kent proceeded to lose their last seven wickets for 92 runs inside today's opening session against a three-man Essex attack shorn of the services of the injured David Masters.

Jamaica-born paceman Maurice Chambers proved the scourge of the Kent top-order in claiming 4-31 - a tally which included his 100th first-class wicket for Essex.

Harbhajan Singh and Graham Napier provided quality support on a wearing wicket to bag three wickets apiece as the hosts, who suffered their first four-day loss of the summer last week, succumbed for a modest 101.

Maurice Chambers

Paceman Maurice Chambers led the way for Essex as they dismissed Kent for just 101 en route to a seven-wicket victory at Canterbury

Chambers started the rout with the 20th ball of the day when he rushed one down the St Lawrence slope to trap Brendan Nash leg before as the ex-West Indies Test batsman made a fatal late decision to shoulder arms.

Chambers then got one to lift on Michael Powell, who could only spar and edge through to wicketkeeper James Foster.

Napier got in on the act by snaring Darren Stevens lbw as he drove across the line of an in-ducker, and Harbhajan enticed Alex Blake into an ill-advised late cut that sailed into the hands of Chambers at backward point.

Three balls later, Azhar Mahmood drove on the up against a good-length Napier delivery to pick out Jaik Mickleburgh at short extra-cover and go for a golden duck.

Experienced Kent keeper Geraint Jones became one of only four batsmen to limp into double figures before he glanced a popping Harbhajan delivery straight to Ryan ten Doeschate at leg slip.

Matt Coles was Kent's last man out when he dragged a Napier slower ball to Harbhajan at short midwicket to send the sides in for a slightly delayed lunch.

With a quirky sense of timing, Kent captain Rob Key presented Coles and top-order batsman Sam Northeast their Kent caps during the interval.

Essex emerged after the resumption looking to polish off the 55 runs they needed for their second win of the season in double-quick time. However, the modest pursuit hardly went according to plan.

Jaik Mickleburgh fell leg before to Azhar, who then plucked out Tom Westley's off stump to make it 22 for two.

Owais Shah top-edged a pull off Charlie Shreck to be caught at long-leg with Essex still 20 short of their target, but Mark Pettini teamed up with ten Doeschate to see the visitors over the line.

The latter hit Adam Riley for six into the Frank Woolley stand before picking up a single behind square to polish off a 21-point win by 3pm.

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