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Kent draw with Northants in County Championship despite trying to force run chase on final day

Kent's efforts to set up a late dash for runs in their County Championship clash with Northants were thwarted by some stubborn lower-order resistance on day four at Canterbury.

The hosts declared on their overnight score of 335-5, trailing Northants by 62.

Nathan Gilchrist - picked up 3-57 with the ball on the final day against Northants. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Nathan Gilchrist - picked up 3-57 with the ball on the final day against Northants. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kent were hoping to work their way through the batting line-up but could only collect eight wickets during an engrossing day's play - thwarting their plan to chase a victory target in the final session.

Opting to set up a chance of victory, Kent's overnight declaration meant they were unable to add to their three bonus batting points.

They took four wickets in the morning session, with Darren Stevens setting the tone in the second over, removing Emilio Gay lbw for eight.

Stevens then had Ricardo Vasconcelos caught behind for nine and Northants were 25-2.

After three matches without a wicket, Miguel Cummins, on the last day of his spell with Kent, finally looked like the bowler they thought they were getting when they signed him, and a spell of serious menace saw him get Rob Keogh caught behind for 12.

Jordan Cox then took a sharp catch at first slip off Nathan Gilchrist to remove Gareth Berg for 21, leaving Northants on 70-4 at lunch.

The afternoon session was fascinatingly balanced. Every time Northants seemed to be heading for safety, Kent took a wicket. Gilchrist struck again in his first over, getting Saif Zaib caught behind for six to make it 73-5.

But Cummings was denied a second wicket when Luke Procter, batting despite an injury, edged him to third slip, where he was put down by Marcus O’Riordan.

After putting on 51 with captain Adam Rossington, Procter was brilliantly run out for 17 by Daniel Bell-Drummond, after being sent back by his captain while attempting a single.

It was 138-7 when Cox took another excellent slip catch off Gilchrist to dismiss Tom Taylor for 12 and when Nathan Buck was lbw for six to Joe Denly the lead was a gettable 212, with 45 overs remaining.

However, the visitors had pushed on to 156-8 at tea and the only chance of a tepid evening session came when Simon Kerrigan was dropped at short leg by Tawanda Muyeye off Denly.

Rossington batted for over three hours, facing 124 balls for his 59 not out. He found late company with Kerrigan, who finished seven not out after resisting for over an hour.

The captains shook hands on the draw at 4.50pm, Kent taking 14 points and Northamptonshire 13.

Gilchrist finished with 3-57 and Stevens 2-42 with Northants reaching 184-8 declared.

Kent captain Bell-Drummond said: "It was good for both teams to be honest because any result was possible. They could have tried to get ahead and give us a little chase.

"It was good that there was a crowd back in and it was great that the cricket was competitive right the way through.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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