Martin Saggers returned his best figures of the season to spearhead Kent to an innings and 132 runs victory over Essex in the County Championship First Division match at Southend yesterday.
The paceman claimed 5 for 24 in 11.1 overs as Essex again turned in a pathetic performance with the bat. The home side were bowled out for 114 in their second innings on a pitch which gave the bowlers only slight encouragement.
Their demise owed much to self-inflicted wounds as batsmen got themselves out with poor strokes. Only the opener Paul Grayson emerged with any credit. He was poised to become the first Essex batsman for nine years to carry his bat through an innings when he was last out, bowled by Saggers for 54.
It was an effort which spanned 136 deliveries and contained three of the five boundaries Essex managed in their innings. Of the remaining batsmen, only Richard Clinton and Tim Phillips reached double figures as Essex lurched from one disaster to another.
Ben Trott provided Saggers with his main support, finishing with 3 for 32. The other wickets were shared by Min Patel and Matthew Fleming.