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Kent have to settle for draw with Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in Specsavers County Championship Division 2

Kent captain Sam Northeast remained phlegmatic after seeing his side held to a draw by Sussex in a game they bossed for all four days.

The hosts were in the ascendancy from the moment they won the toss at the Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells, on Sunday morning.

Sam Northeast. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Sam Northeast. Picture: Barry Goodwin

However despite losing opener Adam Ball to a duck in the second over of the game, Kent were able to post an imposing 575 on the back of a 162-run stand between Sean Dickson (81) and Joe Denly (78) and another imperious knock of 190 from Northeast.

The skipper passed 1,000 First Class runs for the season, eventually finishing one run short of his career best and 10 shy of the elusive double-century he has flirted with four times this season already.

Darren Stevens and Alex Blake each passed 60 and Callum Jackson, in for the Sam Billings, on England Lions duty with Daniel Bell-Drummond, made 38 as Kent batted until late on day two, though Danny Briggs finished with 5-169 on a flat wicket which provided little assistance to any bowler on any day.

Kent did however proceed to establish a first innings lead of 242 by bowling the visitors out for 333, based largely on the contributions of Kiwi Ross Taylor (142 not out) and Luke Wright (60).

Kagiso Rabada was superb for his 3-81 from 28 overs while Mitch Claydon collected a tidy 2-47 and James Tredwell 2-91 from a 40-over spell.

Kent were left needing 10 wickets on the final day to claim an unlikely win and though they mustered five, 3-76 from Tredwell and 2-80 from Imran Qayyum, the visitors had edged into a 13-run lead after tea when the captains shook hands with Taylor having added 68 more on his final Sussex appearance while Harry Finch also passed 50.

Northeast said: "After all that effort and our bowlers sending down well over 200 overs in the past two days you want to win, but they were such tough conditions."

He added: "To bowl them out for 333 was a seriously good effort, but knowing The Nevill Ground as we do it stays pretty true, the top doesn’t break up and it remains a pretty good pitch throughout.

"We tried different things but they didn’t work out, while Ross Taylor gave a two-day batting exhibition here and made a huge difference to the outcome of the match.”

Kent claimed 11 points from the game but remain 13 points adrift of Division 2 leaders Essex having played a game more, sat fourth.

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