Cricket: Kendall's credit rating rises by 201

Hampshire 76 & 570-6 dec Sussex 375 Match drawn
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The Independent Online
WILL KENDALL, who is 25, made the first double century of his career when he defied Sussex for 484 minutes in Hampshire's second innings. They had followed on 299 behind and, on a flat pitch, against bowling which was, at times, as dreadful as Hampshire's batting had been in their first innings on Thursday, Kendall finished with 201 and the match was drawn.

It was a splendidly disciplined innings which earned him his county cap when he came in to tea at 200 not out and it brought him to his 1,000 runs for Hampshire for the first time. His two main helpers on this last day were Giles White and Adrian Aymes, who were equally determined.

With points so crucial for the teams in mid-table who are striving to finish in the top nine, the cricket was hard fought. But from the moment Jason Lewry laboured in to bowl an innocuous first over of the morning, it always seemed likely Hampshire would save the day.

It is difficult truly to evaluate Kendall's inning, because the standard of county cricket at the moment is so inconsistent. His concentration was undeniable but the bowling was not good. Tony Cottey, who captained the side in Chris Adams' absence with a throat infection, soon ran out of ideas, and some of the fielding was awful.

There were 15 overs to be bowled in the morning before the new ball was available. Sussex had pinned their hopes on this and did not do much more than go through the motions for those first few overs.

This allowed Kendall and White to settle in again easily enough and they were both going along well when Lewry and James Kirtley, who had bruised shins, took the new ball. The one chance that was offered came in this first period, when Kendall, at 89, pushed at Bates, but Richard Montgomerie could not hold on to a difficult diving chance to his left at forward short leg.

After that, it became simply a question of clocking up the statistical milestones. Kendall and White added 176 before White was caught behind, pushing forward to Mark Robinson. Kendall and Aymes then put on 143 before Kendall was bowled round his legs sweeping at Umer Rashid after hitting 32 fours. Aymes stayed to make sure.