Kent emerge victorious in dramatic second XI final
Kent held their nerve to seal a dramatic one-wicket win over Leicestershire in the Second XI Championship final at Grace Road.
Beginning the final day on 45 for two in pursuit of 225 for victory, the visitors were staring at defeat after a devastating spell from left-arm spinner James Sykes saw them slump to 119 for seven.
But Calum Haggett ensured Kent emerged from adversity by adding 95 for the eighth wicket alongside captain Simon Cook.
Sykes made Cook his fifth victim for 35, Greg Smith taking a third catch of the innings off his bowling at slip, and the tension increased further when Ben Collins trapped Ivan Thomas in front with 10 still required.
In came Jack Laraman and the 16-year-old number 11 ensured Haggett’s 62 not out would not be in vain as both men claimed a boundary apiece to secure victory.
England Under-19 star Daniel Bell-Drummond top-scored with 88 in the first innings as Kent made 355 to fall five runs shy of their opponents, while a superb unbeaten 118 from Smith at the second time of asking almost proved decisive for Leicestershire.