Lancashire 218 & 436 Kent 440 & 215-8: Kent hold nerve for victory
Saturday 22 July 2006
Maximum points and maximum tension marked Kent's fourth Championship victory of the season, a win which lifted them into third on the table and opened up the title race. Lancashire's gloom was deepened by the loss of Andrew Flintoff from their attack on the final day because of discomfort in his troublesome left ankle, and by the knowledge that Kent had closed the gap on the second-placed Red Rose county.
While the loss of Flintoff was significant, the foundation of the defeat lay in Lancashire's inadequate first-innings total and a clutch of dropped catches, two of them yesterday and one first time around when Matthew Walker was on one - the Kent man going on to make a very big hundred.
But the Lancashire bowlers stuck admirably to their task and in the sultry mid-afternoon heat had Kent supporters chewing their nails as they reduced them to 179 for 8, but Amjad Khan and Min Patel kept their heads and their wickets to steer Kent home with some 23 overs to spare.
The portents had not been that good at the start of the day when the Kent openers Robert Key and David Fulton resumed the chase for the 215 runs required. Key, the captain, was dismissed off the third ball of the morning, caught behind by Gareth Cross off a fiery Glen Chapple. Key's protracted departure from the crease suggested he felt he had not made contact.
The Lancashire bowlers really put their backs into the task, but Fulton and his new partner Martin van Jaarsveld rode their luck and displayed admirable patience as they chipped away at the target.
The rest of the morning session belonged to Kent, Van Jaarsveld passing 50 for the ninth time this summer and surviving a blow to the helmet by Dominic Cork, another Lancashire bowler who was fired up throughout the day and exchanged pleasantries with sections of the crowd.
Flintoff's enforced absence from the attack - his two overs yesterday were bowled well below full pace - fuelled the determination of the rest of the bowlers.
They all rose to the task after lunch when Kent's grip on proceedings was loosened. Having helped to put on 119 for the second wicket with Fulton, Van Jaarsveld attempted a half-hearted pull off Cork and the ball flew straight to the substitute fielder Tom Smith at deep backward square leg.
Walker came and went, falling to a tame bat-pad. Fulton was then dropped on 52 by Stuart Law at slip off Cork. He eventually stepped down the track to Gary Keedy and drove weakly to Cork at short extra. The fall of four more wickets raised Lancashire hopes, but it was not to be.
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014 live: Lewis Hamilton heads towards second championship as Nico Rosberg has major engine troubles
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Arsenal vs Manchester United report: Wayne Rooney and a Kieran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
Arsenal vs Manchester United player ratings: Who was the star man? Wayne Rooney or David De Gea?
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'