Two England wicketkeepers – Geraint Jones and Chris Read – who have, to all intents and purposes, been put out to pasture, galloped into the limelight here yesterday. Regardless of what happens for the England contender Matt Prior in the Lions v Kiwis match in Southampton, Jones and Read certainly made notable contributions to their respective counties' cause.
Read, for whom the Nottinghamshire captaincy appears to have done wonders for his batting (his glovework has never been in question), hit 88 yesterday. It not only helped to provide Kent with a slightly stiffer task than might otherwise have been the case, but it took his tally in four Championship innings to 293 at an average of 73.
It was entirely appropriate that Read's resistance for two and a half hours should have been ended by a superb effort from his Kent counterpart Jones, who dived full length to take a low catch off the bowling of another star Ryan McLaren. That catch was one of nine for the 31-year-old in the match, a haul which hoisted him up alongside the likes of Hopper Levett, Les Ames, Alan Knott, Fred Huish and Jack Hubble in the Kent Pantheon.
As for McLaren, he started the slide before lunch with a spell of three for nine in 18 balls, his two wickets at the end of the Nottinghamshire innings gave him a personal best for Kent of six for 75.
Read's 132-ball knock contained two sixes – the third of the match to date was a blow by former Kent favourite Mark Ealham – and 10 fours.
He shared in the highest stand of the match to date, 70, with Stuart Broad, who, as he had in the first innings, took a fair old time to get off the mark, 24 balls this time, compared with 29. On this occasion though he managed to get into double figures in his 72-minute stay.
Kent's efforts in the field and their 36-run first innings lead, left them with a victory target of 244 and four full sessions in which to get the runs.
Hardly imposing, but by the close four Kent batsmen had failed to stay the course, three of them out to poor shots with 115 runs still to find today.