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Kent Cricket suffer nine wicket defeat at Lancashire in LV= County Championship Division 2

Kent suffered a second straight defeat to begin the LV= County Championship Division 2 season after a nine-wicket humbling in the final session at Lancashire.

The visitors were made to pay for twice being bowled out for under 300 at Old Trafford, while the hosts amassed 444 after winning a good toss on the opening day and choosing to bat, before knocking off the 104 required runs for victory after tea on the final day.

Ashwell Prince made his third hundred in three successive Championship innings against Kent as Lancashire enjoyed the best of the opening day.

The 37-year-old South African’s 172-ball 106 helped his side reach 317-5 on a good batting wicket.

Prince has never scored less than fifty in a first-class match against Kent, against whom he now averages 118.4.

Matt Coles was on a hat-trick at one stage and eventually registered figures of 3-79, while Mitch Claydon weighed-in with 4-103, including the scalp of wicketkeeper Alex Davies, one short of his maiden First Class century.

Opener Paul Horton also hit 71 and was one of six catches for Sam Billings - the first time a Kent gloveman has achieved the feat since Geraint Jones in 2008 - with only Steve Marsh (7 and 8) having claimed more.

Kent's reply to the host's 444 began well but Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly both departed for 28 and 62-0 became 93-4.

Sam Northeast hit a stoic 55 over three hours but Billings (28) was the only one to stay with him for any length of time, sharing 42 for the sixth wicket, though Claydon added a late 21 to steer Kent to 252 all-out, 192 adrift and having to follow-on.

Sam Northeast in action at Old Trafford. Picture: Simon Pendrigh/Manchester Evening News
Sam Northeast in action at Old Trafford. Picture: Simon Pendrigh/Manchester Evening News

Zimbabwean quick Kyle Jarvis was tormentor in chief with 4-50 off 18 overs and he added 4-67 in the second innings as Kent were again dismissed below 300.

Denly hit 60 and Rob Key 34 before Northeast added another 43 as Kent battled to save the match through the final day, having begun the day 44 in arrears with seven wickets in hand.

The outcome was still in doubt at tea on the final day after Kent’s lower order offered stern resistance to the Lancashire attack after Billings (15) and Northeast had departed in the space of three balls.

Kent were 216-7 and 24 ahead, only for Coles and Adam Riley to add 49 for the eighth wicket before Coles departed for 28.

Tea arrived with Kent on 272-8 and 80 ahead but Riley went for 17 and Claydon was controversially stumped for 24 off Simon Kerrigan (2-50) for the last wicket to fall.

The hosts were given 21 overs to chase the 104 runs and Horton and Luis Reece put on 45 from the first 37 balls, though Claydon did get Reece to hole out for 16 before they reached their target.

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