Cricket: Generous Kent still providing extra help

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The Independent Online
Sussex 319

Kent 336-6

IN A dismal season of reversals, Kent generosity continues to be marked down as something extra special and the trend has continued here. When they set off in pursuit of Sussex yesterday, 31 extras had to be wiped off before their batsmen were in the black and a few red faces are surely in order.

Not that this sort of total is exceptional by Kent standards. They began the Championship by conceding a hefty 79 in two innings against Nottinghamshire and ended up losing by nine runs. Including the assortment of no-balls and leg-byes in this one, they have now thrown away a total of 265 runs in nine visits to the field.

Sussex, then, had Kent and Bill Athey to thank for making it past the 300 mark, Athey able to add only three to his overnight 166 but nevertheless carrying his bat while his partners fell about him. On a blustery day, it was Alan Igglesden who made inroads, wrapping up the innings with three wickets for four runs in 11 balls.

Athey had survived 378 minutes and struck 18 fours and three sixes and it was the second time he had gone the distance for Sussex. On a run-making but slowish wicket, Kent may have hoped for something of a similar diligent nature from one of their own, but in the event they went about things by halves.

Half-centuries that is, and quite effective they were, too, in overhauling Sussex. Mark Benson, Trevor Ward, Mattew Fleming and Carl Hooper, showing increasing authority, all punished the bowlers without making the big one.

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