Boyce frustrates promotion-chasing Kent

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Kent's bid for promotion looked in the balance with one day left of their crucial rain-hit LV= County Championship Division Two game against Leicestershire at Grace Road.   

After Kent declared at 350 for eight, the hosts reached stumps on 171 for three, only 30 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

Fourth-placed Kent need a victory to keep their promotion hopes alive, but may now have to set Leicestershire a second-innings chase to try to achieve it. 

Matthew Boyce hit an unbeaten 78 for the hosts and Brendan Nash made 119 for Kent, while Leicestershire left-arm seamer Robert Taylor claimed a career-best 5-91.

Matthew Boyce

Matthew Boyce's determined knock of 78 helped Leicestershire recover from Kent seamer Charlie Shreck's early double strike

After yesterday’s washout, further showers during the morning delayed the start until 2:30pm. It meant the loss of another 37 overs to add to the 104 that were scheduled to be bowled on the second day.

Kent needed to make up for lost time and added a brisk 28 runs for the loss of two more wickets before declaring on 350 for eight, with four bonus points safely tucked away.

Taylor bagged his fifth wicket when he had Matt Coles caught behind, and Nash moved on to 119 before skying a catch to backward point off Jigar Naik. Nash faced 172 balls and hit a six and 13 fours.

Kent made early inroads with Charlie Shreck removing Michael Thornely and Ned Eckersley as Leicestershire slipped to 14 for two in seven overs. Thornely edged behind and Eckersley was superbly caught at slip by Darren Stevens.

But Stevens then saw both Boyce and Will Jones dropped off his bowling and the third-wicket pair cashed in to post a partnership of 93. They rode their luck on several occasions as the ball moved around without finding the edge of the bat.

Finally it did, however, with former Leicestershire player Stevens again taking the catch when Jones nicked a good delivery from Coles, having made 48 off 88 balls.

Boyce - growing in confidence - reached his fifty off 84 balls with five fours, while Josh Cobb soon made his intentions clear with a sweetly struck six off Shreck.

He hit another five boundaries and was 31 not out at the close with Leicestershire on 171 for three, trailing by 179.

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