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Kent beat Surrey by 89 runs to make it three straight wins and ignite hopes of promotion push in LV= County Championship Division 2

By KentOnline reporter

Kent made it three straight wins in LV= County Championship Division 2 after a thrilling win in the final session against in-form Surrey.

Darren Stevens grabbed 5-68 in the second innings and 9-178 for the match as Kent won by 89 runs at Guildford to move within striking distance of the promotion places, with a game in hand.

It was a fifth game without defeat for Kent at the Surrey outground, with the last three all being wins, while Surrey are 12 games without a win at Guildford stretching back to 2002.

After dismissing Kent for 293 in their second innings, Surrey were left to chase 303 to win, but were reduced to 49-3 as Calum Haggett claimed two wickets in his first Championship appearance of the summer and Mitch Claydon the other.

Claydon then added the wickets of Stephen Davies (25) and Jason Roy (13) to leave the hosts 120-5 but the key breakthrough came with the score at 158 when Stevens removed former Sri Lankan Test star Tillakaratne Dilshan, who had raced to 68 from 64 balls with 12 boundaries.

Gary Wilson (27), Gareth Batty (15) and Stuart Meaker (14) all then fell to Stevens who also claimed the final wicket of Tim Linley to leave Surrey 213 all out. Claydon finished with 3-62 and Haggett 2-48.

Put in on the opening day Kent had scored consistently in their first innings to reach 408. Sam Northeast top-scored with 91 while wicketkeeper Sam Billings added a career-best unbeaten 82. Ben Harmison weighed in with 48, with Brendon Nash scoring 38, Claydon 35 and Stevens 34.

The visitors looked set for a decent lead when they reduced Surrey to 105-5 but late-order resistance, led by Roy (84) and Gary WIlson (84), with Stuart Meaker adding 53 and Matt Dunn 31 not out saw the hosts move to 398 before falling two runs short of the final batting bonus point.

Kent Cricket's Darren Stevens Picture: Barry Goodwin

Stevens claimed 4-110 with Charlie Hartley, deputising again for the injured Doug Bollinger, taking two wickets.

A first-innings lead of 10 was extended by half-centuries by Key (59) and Nash (51), but Kent slipped to 178-6 late on the third day before Haggett (a First Class best 44) and Billings (57 not out) put on 85 for the seventh wicket.

They were eventually dismissed for 292, with Meaker claiming 7-90 to finish with 11-196 for the match.

Kent stayed fifth but just 23 points separates them from Surrey, in second, the final promotion place, with Jimmy Adams’ side having two games in hand, and one over the teams in third and fourth.

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