All far from well at Tunbridge Wells
The 100th Tunbridge Wells festival week suffered more frustration today when Kent's Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C match against Northamptonshire was abandoned as a no-result with only 33 overs of play possible because of rain.
Kent were six without loss from one over in reply to Northants’ total of 168 for five from 32 overs when the bad weather intervened for the second and final time. The hosts had been chasing a Duckworth/Lewis win target of 203 from 32 overs.
The rain did ease enough at one stage for a possible resumption around 6:30pm, but then the weather closed in again and the players did not return.
The one point keeps Kent in contention in the top half of the group, but for Northants - who were bottom with three defeats from their opening three games - it was not ideal.
After the first four days of the festival week, featuring Kent's LV= County Championship match with Hampshire, had also been ravaged by rain, the organisers were hoping for a dry day and a good crowd.
Unfortunately, neither materialised and the festival week will now depend on Tuesday evening's Friends Life t20 opener between Kent and Sussex to lift spirits and provide Kent with the chance to redress a lost gate receipts situation which, at the moment, is projected to cost them around £50,000 for the week.
In the play that was possible, the visitors recovered well after slumping to 35 for three.
David Willey skied a catch to keeper Geraint Jones in the third over, Kyle Coetzer got a leading edge off Matt Coles, and James Middlebrook edged an attempted back-foot slash at Darren Stevens to slip.
But Alex Wakely, captaining Northants in the absence of Andrew Hall, then added 74 in 17 overs for the fourth wicket with Niall O'Brien to lead his side’s riposte.
Wakely hit three sixes in his 42 from 47 balls, before off-spinner James Tredwell trapped him lbw with one that seemed to skid on as Wakely played back defensively.
O'Brien, who made a determined 46 from 71 deliveries, was caught at the wicket off Coles from the first ball after the first rain break, at which the visitors were 137 for four.
Rob Keogh and David Murphy, however, then hit out productively - with 16 runs coming off the 31st over bowled by Adam Ball - to plunder 31 runs from the last three overs. Keogh finished on 23 not out with Murphy unbeaten on 18.
There was just time for Sam Billings, the promising 20-year-old Kent batsman, to hit Chaminda Vaas for one exquisite four through square cover before the rain returned.