Notts 113-3 dec and 266
Kent win by 35 runs
THERE WAS light after all at the end of a long and dark tunnel, Kent emerging on the credit side at The Mote in as exciting a finish as anyone could wish for yesterday. There were eight balls remaining when Carl Hooper delivered the coup de grace, trapping a mortified David Pennett leg before and Nottinghamshire beaten for the first time in the Championship this season.
Kent's third win of the summer - though sunshine never entered into the contest here - initially began to take shape with a bristling breakthrough by Alan Igglesden, who sent back Chris Broad, Tim Robinson and Paul Pollard in the space of 11 deliveries during which he conceded only a couple of runs.
Nottinghamshire were then 19 for 3 and were 46 for 4 after Richard Davis had removed the dangerous Paul Johnson when an attempted drive flew to Mark Benson at first slip. Any thoughts of early celebrations gradually disappeared thanks to an old hand at this sort of game and a comparative newcomer to the scene. Indeed, Derek Randall and Mark Crawley between them turned Nottinghamshire's thoughts towards victory.
With another 20 overs lost at the start of the day, bringing the total to 113, Nottinghamshire smartly declared their first innings closed at the overnight deficit of 246. Kent then set a target of 302 from 70 overs after calling their own halt before lunch with 55 on the board.
It was positive cricket and Randall and Crawley positively relished the task in hand. Randall, in his 42nd year, had warmed up in the middle of last month with an unbeaten 133 against Lancashire, while his 24-year-old partner had at one stage been sitting on an average in excess of 70 after helping himself to an undefeated 160 at Derby in May.
Together the pair rattled Kent and they had added 94 in 27 overs when Randall, who had struck two sixes and five fours, presented Igglesden with a fourth victim by holing out to fine leg for 66. Crawley and the hard-hitting Chris Cairns next put on 63 for the sixth wicket and the situation was still touch and go with Crawley in occupation.
In fact, Kent never did remove him from the firing line and the poor lad was left high and dry on 102 as Bruce French, Kevin Evans, Michael Field-Buss and finally Pennett perished in the heat of the chase 35 short of the necessary. To Nottinghamshire's credit they never gave up and with two matches or more to spare over all their rivals they should treat us to further excitement of this nature.