McCague returns in nick of time

As improbable as this Kent victory was, the match-winning hero was equally unlikely. When Martin McCague was thrown the old ball yesterday morning Hampshire needed a further 63 runs to beat Kent, with four wickets and all day to do it.

As improbable as this Kent victory was, the match-winning hero was equally unlikely. When Martin McCague was thrown the old ball yesterday morning Hampshire needed a further 63 runs to beat Kent, with four wickets and all day to do it.

McCague's first over was runless, neither Adrian Aymes nor Dimitri Mascarenhas were prepared to take any risks. But in his second over the former England fast bowler, playing only his fourth match of the season following two ankle operations, tempted Mascarenhas into a tentative prod and wicketkeeper Paul Nixon snapped up the resulting edge.

In McCague's next over Shane Warne drove and presented David Fulton with his sixth catch of the match. But the moment the new ball became available, the acting Kent captain, Alan Wells, took it. It had been in his thoughts since the evening before when he had opted to carry on for the extra half hour, arguing, quite sensibly, that the nine overs bowled then brought his fast bowlers that much nearer the new ball.

When they got their hands on it, though, with McCague making way for the less experienced Martin Saggers and David Masters, neither youngster was able to worry Aymes or his new partner, Shaun Udal.

For close on an hour Wells persisted with his new-ball attack before finally relenting when the batsmen had taken Hampshire to within 23 of their target of 314. Back came McCague, initially without success as the batsmen picked off a precious handful of runs.

Then at 12.27pm, when the trickle of pessimism out of the St Lawrence Ground was threatening to become a tearful flood, McCague pitched one up to Udal, who failed to get out of the way and was on his way back to the pavilion, adjudged leg before.

Two minutes later it was all over. The last man, Alan Mullally, is no rock with the bat and the second ball he faced was yorker length, uprooting his leg stump. It completed a spell of 4 for 12 in 34 balls and gave McCague his first five-wicket haul in the Championship for more than three years, at the same time lifting Kent into the top five of the First Division, while leaving Hampshire teetering on the rim of relegation.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower