Kent v Derbyshire at Canterbury on 22 to 25 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled south for this midsummer fixture with Kent. Kent won the toss and chose to bat first on a rare hot sunny day.
Rob Key was lucky to survive a catch from a Mark Footitt no ball when he had scored fourteen but, when David Wainwright came on to bowl, he was stumped off his second ball. Harmison fell to Wainwright eight overs later and Kent continued to lose wickets to the persevering Derbyshire attack through most of the day.
Bell-Drummond and Steven added 91 for the fifth wicket, after which Tony Palladino had an inspired spell during which he took four wickets for five runs in twenty-three balls. So Kent finished the first day on 259 for eight, and Derbyshire had every reason to feel satisfied with their performance. Bell-Drummond had batted with strong defence and determination (268 balls) to complete his first championship hundred.
The second morning did not go to plan for Derbyshire as the Kent tail-enders stayed longer than expected and added a further 74 runs in twenty-five overs.
Stephen Moore and Paul Borrington survived the five overs before lunch, taken with the score on 18 for no wicket, fourteen of the runs having been conceded in extras.
There followed one of those near-inexplicable periods of play when, during the afternoon session of thirty-two overs, Derbyshire lost eight wickets and added a mere 65 runs. At one stage four wickets fell while only three runs were added, so the team slipped at one stage from a promising 37 for one to a calamitous 56 for seven.
Palladino batted with more certainty than most and Footitt helped him to add 22 for the last wicket with a few typically agricultural blows. 115 was a long way below the total Derbyshire would have been hoping for, and there was little surprise when Kent decided to enforce the follow-on. There were nineteen overs left in the day, and Derbyshire fared little better as they finished on 32 for three, one of them nightwatchman, Tom Taylor, still 186 runs behind. There was a suggestion that the dry pitch was rather more like a fourth-day pitch on the second day, but there can be little excuse for such a disappointing display.
There seemed little improvement on the third morning, although Gareth Cross enlivened matters by striking Riley for two sixes in his sixteen-ball innings. Alex Hughes and Wainwright came together twenty-three minutes before lunch and survived until the interval, taken at 118 for seven.
They stayed together for another 125 minutes after lunch and showed the earlier batsmen what they might have achieved with more application. This pair added 110 runs during the afternoon session and caused Kent some irritation at their inability to part them.
Straight after tea, however, Hughes was out, the fifth lbw decision of the innings, for a career-best 83 (174 balls; 8 fours). The eighth wicket partnership had added 129, a new record for Derbyshire in matches between these two counties, beating the previous best at Gillingham in 1948 (Eddie Gothard and Cliff Gladwin).
Derbyshire were eventually dismissed for 256, with Wainwright unbeaten on 60 (125 balls; 5 fours), thus leaving Kent a nominal target of 39 to win with twenty overs and a whole day in which to do it.
Kent reached their target without any alarms, and thus kept Derbyshire to a mere two points, when Palladino, Hughes and Wainwright might have felt they deserved better.
Kent 333 (120.3 overs) (DJ Bell-Drummond 101, DI Stevens 45, RWT Key 34, AJ Ball 30, RH Joseph 29*, BP Nash 21; AP Palladino 5 for 62, DJ Wainwright 3 for 94) and for 41 for 0 (10.1 overs) (RWT Key 26*)
Derbyshire 115 (48 overs) (Extras 29, AP Palladino 24; AEN Riley 4 for 30, DI Stevens 3 for 25, DE Bollinger 2 for 20) and 256 (92.1 overs) (AL Hughes 82, DJ Wainwright 60*, GD Cross 21; DJ Stevens 6 for 64, AEN Riley 3 for 88)
Kent (22 points) beat Derbyshire (2) by wickets
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