Jones stands firm for Kent

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Geraint Jones

Geraint Jones' defiant 47, which spanned almost three hours and 150 balls, helped Kent escape with a draw at Taunton

Geraint Jones defied Somerset’s bowlers for nearly three hours on a turning pitch to lead Kent to a draw in their LV= County Championship clash at Taunton.

The wicketkeeper walked out at 2.40pm with his side 67 for one chasing an improbable 335 to win and was out just moments before the end for a gutsy 47 as Kent closed on 191 for seven.

Murali Kartik claimed 5-57 - and match figures of 10-107 - bowling 31 overs unchanged from the River End.

When the total was 134 for five with 20 overs remaining Somerset had a chance, but skipper Marcus Trescothick may regret erring on the side of safety as he delayed his declaration until 25 minutes before lunch, by which time they had progressed from an overnight 122 for two to 301 for seven.

Somerset took seven points to Kent’s six from a game in which 158 overs were lost to rain over the four days.

Trescothick led from the front early on the final day. Unbeaten on 59 overnight, he progressed to 80, with eight fours and three sixes, before driving to extra cover off Amjad Khan.

Alfonso Thomas (30), Zander de Bruyn (43) and James Hildreth (48) made breezy contributions, but it was a surprise when Trescothick opted to continue the innings once a 300 lead had been established.

Kent had to face only four overs before lunch, and openers Joe Denly and Sam Northeast extended their partnership to 67 in the afternoon before Thomas held a sharp caught-and-bowled chance offered by Denly on 36.

Kartik was expected to prove Somerset’s most potent weapon following his five first-innings victims and he had Northeast caught by Arul Suppiah at square-leg off a leading edge for 40.

Kent captain Martin van Jaarsveld miscued a pull off Charl Willoughby to be well caught by Jos Buttler at deepish midwicket to leave Kent 94 for three.

Alex Blake, having been dropped by a wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, was lbw playing no shot to a ball from Kartik that turned from outside off stump before Darren Stevens fell to a juggling catch by Trescothick at slip off the same bowler.

There were only 23 balls left when James Tredwell became another Kartik victim, but still the obdurate Jones held firm.

By the time he fell lbw to Kartik in the penultimate over he had faced 150 balls and hit just three fours . It was a fine effort of concentration in bowler-friendly conditions.

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