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Kent lose by 10 wickets against Somerset in the Specsavers County Championship

ByKentOnline reporter

Kent lost their last eight wickets inside 46 minutes as Specsavers County Championship leaders Somerset clinched a 10-wicket win on a rain-affected final day in Canterbury.

The visitors' Lewis Gregory finished with match figures of 11-53 as Kent were bowled out on day four for just 59 - their lowest first-class score since 1982.

Somerset made light work of the chase, with openers Tom Abell and Azhar Ali hitting 30 without loss to seal the win in just 6.4 overs.

Grant Stewart. Picture: Chris Davey
Grant Stewart. Picture: Chris Davey

Fresh from a first-innings career-best of 4-32, Gregory mopped up 5-21 as Kent’s last eight wickets fell for 27 runs in the space of 62 balls.

Resuming their second-innings of 24 for 2 from day two of the game – an overall match deficit of six runs – Kent soon found themselves in even deeper trouble.

The hosts were only two runs ahead overall when Harry Podmore, Kent’s night watchman, played back and across the line to Jack Brooks and became the 11th leg before victim of the game.

Gregory then grabbed centre stage with three more quickfire wickets to secure only his second 10-wicket match haul in first-class cricket as well as sensational best-ever match figures of 11-53.

Gregory had Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn and Alex Blake all caught in the slip cordon, while Jamie Overton chipped in by having Sean Dickson caught at slip for a battling top-score of 22.

Ollie Robinson and veteran Darren Stevens moved Kent’s score beyond their all-time lowest total against Somerset – 55 scored at Tonbridge in 1926 – before Stevens and Grant Stewart both fell lbw in a double-wicket maiden from Craig Overton.

Gregory took deserved possession of the match ball by having Robinson well caught by keeper Steve Davies off a thick inside edge.

Kent’s capitulation left Somerset to score 30 for their fifth win of six starts, which openers Ali and Abell achieved within 40 balls and without the loss of wickets.

Somerset banked 19 points while Kent took only three from their fourth defeat of the season.

After a day one washout, day two at The Spitfire Ground had seen 22 wickets fall, seven of them to Somerset seamer Gregory.

A flurry of early wickets left Kent at 45-5 at one point, before Blake (28) and Robinson (37)managed a partnership of 56 in 12 overs in an effort to steady the ship.

Kent's next hope behind them was Grant Stewart, who hit 28 amid his side's collapse to 139 all out.

Somerset endured a similarly miserable first innings with the bat, slipping to 169 all out after a top score of 63 from Tom Banton.

Podmore, Milnes and Stewart picked up three wickets apiece to seemingly give their side a second chance in the middle.

Back at the crease for their second innings in one day and 30 runs behind, Kent lost Crawley lbw to Gregory and Joe Denly to Jamie Overton's leg-cutter as they went in at stumps on 24-2.

Gregory then took 5-21 while Overton finished 3-7 from five overs to tear through the hosts' batting line-up on the final day after a delayed start, leaving Abell and Ali with a target of just 30 to win.

Courtesy of the ECB reporters network

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