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  • Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Kent crush Sussex to aid promotion hopes

    Kent kept up the pressure on second division leaders after wrapping up a convincing victory by an innings and 127 runs over Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship.

    Kent kept up the pressure on second division leaders after wrapping up a convincing victory by an innings and 127 runs over Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship.

    Their first Championship win at Hove since 1992 has for now moved Kent level on points at the top with Essex, who are pushing for victory themselves against Worcestershire at Chelmsford.

    Kent will be hoping that Worcestershire’s batsmen show more application than Sussex's managed on the third morning as they tamely surrendered eight wickets in 27.5 overs, several of them to questionable shots.

    Kent seamers Mitch Claydon, Hardus Viljoen and Matt Coles took three wickets each as Sussex suffered their first Championship defeat of the season to end their own slim chance of making a late charge for promotion.

    Kent captain Sam Northeast said: "The work ethic has been brilliant for a while now because we have come across some flat pitches this season. Everyone is contributing. We have won three in a row and it does make the last few weeks very interesting. We are getting our rewards for the hard work we've put in and this was as near a perfect performance as you're going to see.

    "We are going to need to win our last two to put pressure on Essex. We need to keep producing the aggressive brand of cricket we've been playing and if we can do that it would be great to go into the last game against them knowing that if we win we'll be promoted."

    Their hopes of making Kent work for victory depended largely on the experienced Chris Nash and Luke Wells but both fell within 30 minutes of the resumption. Nash (23) got a beauty from Viljoen which pitched and left him off the seam but Wells tried to cut a ball that he should have left alone and gave second slip Coles a head-high catch. He wasn’t the only Sussex batsman with poor judgement of balls outside off stump.

    None suggested they were in the mood to get their head down thereafter. Coles found some extra bounce to have Fynn Hudson-Prentice (20) caught off the glove and Cachopa (34) gave a catch by wicketkeeper Sam Billings, moving in front of first slip.

    Skipper Ben Brown (19) could consider himself unfortunate when he played on to a ball from Darren Stevens that hardly bounced and by then it was only a case of whether Sussex might hold on until rain arrived at lunch time.

    But their tail offered little resistance. Ollie Robinson (6) guided a ball at least a yard outside off stump from Coles to third man, Danny Briggs (4) was pinned by Claydon’s nip-backer and with lunch delayed after the ninth wicket fell Claydon wrapped things up when last man Steve Magoffin (8) was caught behind. Only Nash batted for longer than an hour.

    Kent head to Beckenham next week where victory over Northamptonshire could set up a potential winner-takes-all promotion decider against Essex at Canterbury on September 20.

    Sussex Head Coach Mark Davis said: "It's very disappointing to lose with five sessions to go. The pitch was still offering some uneven bounce but losing eight wickets in a session as we did today is not good enough and the players know that."

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