Loudon rescues Kent

Warwickshire 457 and 123-2
Kent 420
Match drawn

The only way Warwickshire were to win was to take early wickets and force Kent to follow on. It was possible, despite the loss of a hefty chunk of the contest to bad weather. And there had been encouraging signs on Friday evening as the visitors slipped from 229-1 to 255-5, still 202 behind.

The only way Warwickshire were to win was to take early wickets and force Kent to follow on. It was possible, despite the loss of a hefty chunk of the contest to bad weather. And there had been encouraging signs on Friday evening as the visitors slipped from 229-1 to 255-5, still 202 behind.

It did not happen, alas. Kent passed the follow-on point without losing another wicket, at which point the match became an exercise in gathering bonus points. This suited Warwickshire, in any event, the draw enabling them to stretch their lead from 35 points over Gloucestershire before this round to 36 over Kent, who move ahead of Surrey into second place.

Kent, having suffered an unhealthy dose of internal strife this season, culminating in Mike Denness resigning as chairman of cricket, were content not to lose, which was more or less guaranteed once two of the younger members of a makeshift side had guided them to safety.

Alex Loudon, 23, and the reserve wicketkeeper, 22-year-old Niall O'Brien, shared a partnership of 127 for the sixth wicket, batting with visibly growing confidence. Although there was some uneven bounce in the pitch it generally played well at an easy pace and with a short boundary on the Rea Bank side required an accuracy of bowling that Warwickshire's attack was unable to sustain.

O'Brien, a compact left-hander from Dublin, whose father, Brendan, is a former captain of Ireland, enjoyed himself hugely, hitting four sixes, a couple lofted straight off Mark Wagh's off-spin, another on the hook against the left-arm seam of Neil Carter and another carved over point of Dougie Brown's right-arm medium. His dismissal came in an attempt to hook Heath Streak, which had him caught behind, but his 69 was his highest first-class score by two runs.

Curiously, Loudon was out in much the same way against Carter, although he had greater cause for regret, falling eight runs short when his first century for Kent was there for the taking. Perhaps he was distracted by thoughts of what might happen if he did reach 100, his 50 having been greeted, somewhat surreally in a near-empty ground, by an explosion of fireworks, apparently ignited at a wedding nearby.

In between, Min Patel and Ian Butler had also gone to Streak, who finished with 4 for 85 from his first bowl after a stomach injury, but Loudon, who hit 10 fours, stayed long enough to clinch a fifth batting point.

Warwickshire's first-innings lead of 37 was purely academic and the remainder of the day pointless in almost every sense of the word, although Nick Knight, the captain, passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season on the way to his ninth score over 50.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy