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Kent (343 & 340) lose to Hampshire (505-8dec & 180-4) by six wickets in County Championship Division 1

Kent took the match into the final session but fell to a six-wicket defeat at Hampshire in Vitality County Championship Division 1 on Wednesday.

The hosts were given 179 runs to chase in 31 overs and, after taking the wickets of former Kent loanee Toby Albert, Fletcha Middleton and James Vince, Liam Dawson and Nick Gubbins helped steer Hampshire’s side home.

Harry Finch - scored 84 in Kent’s second innings but wasn’t quite able to help the team salvage a draw against Hampshire on Wednesday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Harry Finch - scored 84 in Kent’s second innings but wasn’t quite able to help the team salvage a draw against Hampshire on Wednesday. Picture: Keith Gillard

Kyle Abbott had taken a five-wicket haul while Harry Finch had frustrated the hosts, but Kent weren’t able to secure a positive result.

Middleton and Albert remained as opening batsmen and put on 41 in seven overs – with Middleton clearing long on and Albert scooping all-rounder Grant Stewart (0-39) over the ropes.

Albert edged behind but James Vince carried on the momentum with 32 off 21 – which included a slog-sweep six.

But Vince was yorked and Middleton was bamboozled by a delivery that kept low either side of a rain delay which lost one over.

Gubbins holed out but James Fuller got Hampshire over the line with seven overs to spare when he threw his bat at a wide delivery.

Hampshire had started the day needing eight wickets at the very least on the final day, with their lead a slender 30 runs. But they were a bowler down all day after Keith Barker pulled out of an over the previous evening, initially thought to be cramp.

It was hardly helpful when Jack Leaning was dropped on 32 and 43, although he only lasted two further balls after the second shelling when an attempted hook was glanced to wicketkeeper Ben Brown.

That ended a 106-run partnership with Ben Compton, who had been a brick wall to frustrate Hampshire as long as possible, while also giving his side a slim chance of victory.

His gritty stay ended when he was adjudged to have gloved the ball to short leg, despite the replay showing that the ball had not touched the left-hander’s bat, before Joey Evison was pinned by a delivery which stayed low from Fuller (1-68).

What Compton had started with his 92, Finch continued, initially at a quicker rate than his predecessor – especially during his 72-run stand with Tawanda Muyeye.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was the glue with the tail, as Leaning had been in the first innings, although Muyeye, Charlie Stobo and Grant Stewart all fell to the rampaging Abbott (5-89).

Muyeye hit onto his own stumps, Stobo was undone by a beauty which hammered the top of off stump and Stewart was lbw to a full in-ducker.

Finch was tigerish, though, as he reached 50 in 81 balls and found company with Parkinson – who like in the first innings - helped add 44 for the ninth wicket.

Parkinson tickled Mohammed Abbas (1-55) behind but another 23-run stand for the last wicket further maddened a tetchy Hampshire before Abbott finally wrapped things up, via a Finch top edge and a juggling Vince.

Kent, bottom of County Championship Division 1 and some 25 points adrift, return to Vitality T20 Blast action against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on Friday.

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