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Sean Dickson and Joe Denly rewrite Kent cricket history books against Northamptonshire at Beckenham

By Alex Hoad

Kent's history books have been rewritten by an astonishing batting performance in this week's Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Beckenham.

In-form Joe Denly and opener Sean Dickson shared the highest partnership for any wicket in the club's storied history, putting on 382 runs for the second wicket in a 72.4-over onslaught across Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning while Dickson later became just the second Kent batsman to post a triple century before eventually departing for 318.

He fell just 14 runs short of the highest ever by a Kent batsman and 26 shy of the record score posted during a game in the county, set by W G Grace for the MCC against Kent at Canterbury in 1876.

Dickson and Denly surpassed the previous best second wicket stand of 366 - set by Simon Hinks and Neil Taylor against Middlesex in 1990 - before topping the overall record of 368 put on by Aravinda De Silva and Graham Cowdrey for the fourth wicket against Derbyshire at the Mote in 1995.

Kent's Joe Denly during his knock of 119 against Sussex. Picture: Andy Jones
Kent's Joe Denly during his knock of 119 against Sussex. Picture: Andy Jones

Denly eventually departed for 182 shortly before midday with the scoreboard showing 511-1 after Daniel Bell-Drummond's dismissal for 49 nearly 24 hours earlier.

Denly hit 15 fours and five sixes in his 226-ball stay which saw him at the crease for four hours and 42 minutes.

It was the 31-year-old's third century in five Championship Division 2 matches after 119 against Sussex at Tunbridge Wells and his career-best 227 at Worcester two weeks ago.

Dickson meanwhile has surpassed his highest ever First Class score of 207 and posted Kent's highest ever total against Northants - beating Frank Woolley's 217 in 1926.

He reached 294 not out at lunch and two runs later passed Les Ames for the third highest score in club history - as Kent cruised past 600.

He eventually departed after eight hours and 40 minutes at the crease after facing 408 balls, hitting 31 of them for four with three sixes.

Former skipper Rob Key posted scores of 261 against Durham at Canterbury in 2010 and an unbeaten 270 the previous summer against Glamorgan in Cardiff but before Dickson, the only higher score in the past 83 years was current coach Matt Walker's 275 not out against Somerset at Canterbury in 1996.

The highest score ever recorded by a Kent batsman remains Bill Ashdown's 332 against Essex at Brentwood in 1934.

The highest home score by a Kent batsman also belonged to Ashdown after his unbeaten 305 against Derbyshire at Dover the following season but Dickson breezed past his score just before 2pm.

Remarkably it was just the third First Class century of Dickson's career, with one of them a double century and now a triple century to boot.

Dickson's knock was the highest score in the County Championship since Kevin Pietersen scored 355 in May 2015.

Kent eventually declared on 701-7 - the second highest First Class score in their history.

Sean Dickson during his record-breaking innings at Beckenham. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Sean Dickson during his record-breaking innings at Beckenham. Picture: Barry Goodwin

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