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Stevens puts Leicestershire to the sword

Leicestershire CCC

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Darren Stevens returned 5-35 against his former club as Kent kept their promotion hopes alive with a resounding 147-run victory over Leicestershire in the LV= County Championship Division Two game at Grace Road.

Kent set Leicestershire a target of 283 in 68 overs, but 36-year-old Stevens sent the Foxes tumbling to defeat in a devastating 14-over spell.

Mark Davies claimed three wickets and Charlie Shreck two as Kent closed the gap on leaders Derbyshire to stay in contention for promotion with two games to play.

Darren Stevens

Seamer Darren Stevens claimed a five-wicket haul as Kent enhanced their promotion hopes with a resounding triumph over Leicestershire

Kent, who picked up 21 points from the win, are at home to Derbyshire next week and then away to Glamorgan in the final round of fixtures.

There was a bizarre start to the day with the Leicestershire batsmen, Matthew Boyce and Josh Cobb, facing just one ball before skipper Matthew Hoggard declared still 179 runs behind.

It was clear an agreement had been reached on a chase, and Kent responded by closing their second innings at 103 for two off 22 overs.

On a pitch still giving some assistance to the bowlers, Leicestershire's target appeared stiff - and they could not have made a worse start.

Davies had Michael Thornely caught behind in the the third over and Shreck removed Will Jones in similar fashion in the next, leaving the hosts seven for two.

A grim situation did not improve when Ned Eckersley was brilliantly caught at cover by Matt Coles off Davies with the total on 17.

But if Leicestershire thought things could not get any worse they were wrong. Stevens was brought into the attack and his naggingly accurate medium-paced seamers ripped through the hosts' middle order.

In a nine-over spell before tea he picked up four wickets for 27 runs.

Cobb fell lbw to one that nipped back; Shiv Thakor was caught low down at slip and Wayne White saw his off stump uprooted before Boyce, who survived 80 balls, provided midwicket with a catch.

Stevens struck again in the first over after tea when Rob Taylor became another lbw victim.

Jigar Naik provided some late resistance, top scoring with 33 before falling leg before wicket to Davies, but Shreck clinched victory by having Alex Wyatt caught at short-leg.

Leicestershire were all out for 135 in 49.5 overs, giving them just just two points from the contest.

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