Adams quick to cast his spell over the new boy

S Africa 325-4d and 243-7d;

Kent 235 and 232;

South Africa win by 101 runs
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The Independent Online

South Africa's left-arm spinner Paul Adams claimed a career-best 9 for 79 to bowl South Africa to victory over Kent and ruin Ed Smith's special day. Adams' performance was the best return by a South African bowler in an innings in England.

In the end Smith was given just six and a quarter hours to enjoy his England call-up before it all started going wrong. The stand-in Kent captain, having pronounced himself delighted with his selection for the Third Test at Trent Bridge, then professed himself more concerned with the present - to wit, trying to beat the tourists.

And from the 8.45am phone call from the England selector Geoff Miller informing Smith of his elevation, until 3pm precisely, things went reasonably well for Kent's Cambridge Blue.

There were three wickets to celebrate and a tempting victory target of 334 off a minimum of 67 overs. There was also a very fine catch to savour, when Smith at mid-on, running back to his left, took Robin Pieterson's mishit slog.

Smith was also able to enjoy Robert Key's useful knock before its disappointing end. Key, who has now been overlooked by the England selectors for the first three Tests against South Africa, had been enjoying himself, playing responsibly but always prepared to punish poor balls. But in Adams' first over, when he was one away from a half-century, Key went to paddle a delivery, misjudged its length, realised his mistake and had time to watch as the fuller-length ball bowled him.

Enter Smith. He wasted little time, getting off the mark in Adams' next over. He did so with aggressive intent, with a four through mid-wicket, following it up with a couple more boundaries in the same over as well as a two.

There was a brief lull as opener Michael Carberry picked up the baton and helped himself to a few runs, before handing over the strike once more to his captain.

Again Smith revealed his pugnacious side. Three more boundaries in one over - this time the unfortunate was the worthy fast-medium bowler Monde Zondeki.

Kent were just about on the asking rate of the five and a bit runs per over needed for victory. Then came the down-side of cricket life. Pieterson entered the attack and in his second over gained revenge over Smith for that catch.

Pieterson floated one in, Smith, looking to play the ball on the on-side, came in on the shot a little too quickly and the resulting leading edge was taken by the leaping bowler above his head.

Thereafter the left-hander Carberry marshalled the Kent innings admirably, monopolising the strike either side of tea, and the county stayed in touch with the run rate.

But the confident tourists kept the pressure on and within half an hour of the start of the final session Adams accounted for two more key wickets in five balls.

First Matthew Banes dragged on to end a useful 60-run stand for the third wicket, then in Adams' next over Carberry turned one off his hip straight into the hands of Boeta Dippenaar.

It was a serious blow to the Kent cause. Geraint Jones followed, leg before wicket, and James Tredwell became Adams' fifth victim courtesy of a leading edge that presented Adams with a low return catch.

The departure of Robert Ferley, caught at silly mid-off, took Adams' post-tea spell to 5 for 15 in 40 balls. The last recognised batsman, Alex Loudon, held out for an hour and a half but when he was ninth out, also snapped up at silly mid-off, it looked all over, and one ball later, when Ben Trott fell leg before to Adams, it was.

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