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Kent keep their County Championship Division 1 promotion hopes alive with victory over Leicestershire

Darren Stevens

Kent kept their LV= County Championship Division 1 promotion hopes alive with a 147-run victory over Leicestershire.

Rob Key’s side now trail rivals Derbyshire by 23 points but can reduce that gap with a win over the Division 2 leaders in their penultimate game of the season, starting at St Lawrence on Tuesday.

A best-of-the-season-haul of 5-35 in 14 overs from former Leicestershire player Darren Stevens (pictured) turned the game in Kent’s favour, having set the hosts 283 runs to win on Friday at Grace Road.

Skipper Key declared after Brendan Nash’s 119, which included 14 boundaries, was the highlight of a first innings tally of 350-8. The innings included three other half-centuries from Key (68), Sam Northeast (52) and Geraint Jones (52).

After Leicestershire declared on their overnight 171-3, Kent moved 282 runs ahead with 103-2 declared in 23 overs.

Key (14) and Northeast (20) went cheaply second time around, but once Mark Davies (3-24) removed Michael Thornely and Ned Eckersley the hosts were struggling at 13-3 before Stevens took centre stage to slice through the middle order and help dismiss his former side for only 135.

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