Cricket: Bishop dents Kent's hopes

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The Independent Online


IAN BISHOP, with 5 for 60, and Kim Barnett's 37th century for combined to frustrate Kent's outside challenge for the county championship at Chesterfield yesterday after the visitors had begun the day trailing by 17 runs with six first-innings wickets in hand.

That they managed a lead of only 88 was due mainly to the tall West Indian's hostility, and that they finished 125 runs behind was down to the captain's second hundred in three matches. Barnett ended unbeaten on 116, sharing an unbroken stand of 127 with another former England player, John Morris, taking to 213 for 1 at the close.

Neil Taylor and Richard Ellison took Kent past 's total within the first half-hour of the morning and although Bishop and Devon Malcolm often beat the bat, they were initially denied success: Taylor and Ellison had carved out 27 in 18 overs before Malcolm was finally rewarded for a sustained burst of fast bowling. He delivered a rapid full-toss that beat Taylor for pace and shattered his leg stump after he had scored 71 in 49 overs.

Malcolm then almost claimed Matthew Fleming before he had scored when a mistimed pull fell just short of the bowler as he followed through, but then Fleming hit out, carving Malcolm over the slip cordon to the boundary, and pulling and cutting medium pacer Allan Warner for boundaries in his opening over. But these were rare flashes of aggression as the bowlers continued to dominate.

Having gone for runs under difficult circumstances earlier, Ellison had to temper his attacking instincts to play a grafting innings which occupied 29 overs for 19 runs. He was then caught behind pushing forward at Warner.

Fleming looked uneasy against the pace and when he fell to a stunning slip catch by Tim O'Gorman for 15, Kent were only 31 runs on with three wickets left.

Steve Marsh and the tail then added another 57. Ealham had scored 10 when he edged Bishop to wicketkeeper Karl Krikken and the bowlers were well on top. Bishop gave Martin McCague a hostile reception with two bouncers and kept up his assault on McCague in the next over when he beat him with a rising delivery and then saw the ball fly away over the slips off the top edge. After lunch Malcolm dug one in short to dismiss Marsh and the innings ended when Alan Igglesden was run out.

The visitors' hopes of an early breakthrough were dashed by an opening stand of 86 between Barnett and Peter Bowler, and then Morris joined his captain who reached his hundred in 198 minutes with 17 fours.