Warks indebted to Botha and Tahir
Last-wicket pair Ant Botha and Imran Tahir shared a century stand as Warwickshire turned the tables in their vital LV= County Championship match with Kent at Edgbaston.
They both hit half-centuries in a partnership of 118 – a new county record for the 10th wicket against Kent – to raise a total of 294.
The stand was then made all the more important when the visitors lost three wickets before the close for the addition of 37 runs.
Chris Woakes claimed all three wickets, including openers Joe Denly and Rob Key - both bowled without scoring - in seven balls.
Not for the first time this summer, Warwickshire’s lower order outperformed the frontline batsmen, after Kent’s seamers had captured the first seven wickets for 107.
It took a season’s best 76 by Botha to take them beyond 200 and the two batting bonus points secured with Tahir were their first since July.
For Kent, it became a nightmare scenario when a dropped slip chance – after Tahir had hit 14 in the first three balls of an over from off-spinner James Tredwell – ultimately cost them nearly 100 runs.
Botha, as a second spinner, has had an intermittent role this year and may not have been in the team for this match but for an injury to fast bowler Boyd Rankin.
It proved to be a timely selection as the former Derbyshire left-hander hit 11 fours in his highest score for Warwickshire before he was last out, to Matt Coles.
In squeezing 187 from the last three wickets, he put on 60 in a dozen overs with Woakes, who made 30, and laid the platform for Tahir to hammer seven fours and four sixes in an unbeaten 69 from 72 balls.
Botha, with four centuries in his career, is a handy player to have coming in at number eight and, under his stewardship, Warwickshire were able to reverse the flow of a fixture which could decide which team drops into Division Two.
Kent had seized control when medium-pacer Darren Stevens opened the bowling and took 3-30 in a 15-over spell up to lunch.
Warwickshire reached the first interval on 74 for five after a wicket apiece for Simon Cook and Coles.
Laurie Evans, a former Durham UCCE batsman signed on loan from Surrey, was given a debut after scoring a century in a second team trial for Warwickshire.
He looked comfortable in making 15 until he was bowled by a swinging full toss from Cook, before the first hint of a revival was cut short when Richard Johnson fell to Azhar Mahmood.
But Botha and Tahir checked Kent's momentum, before wresting control back towards Warwickshire.