Walker repays Kent's faith

Worcs 401 and 316-2 dec Kent 289 and 429-5 Kent win by 5 wkts

A brilliant, unbeaten century by Matthew Walker and an equally fabulous one by Michael Carberry helped Kent to pull off a stunning and improbable victory which took them to the top of the County Championship.

A brilliant, unbeaten century by Matthew Walker and an equally fabulous one by Michael Carberry helped Kent to pull off a stunning and improbable victory which took them to the top of the County Championship.

Their winning total beat their previous highest fourth-innings score of 416 for 6 made against Surrey at Blackheath in 1934, and almost defied belief because they had been outplayed for three-quarters of the match.

Kent had begun the day two wickets down and still 394 adrift of the target of 429. The nightwatchman, Martin Saggers, was not expected to hang around and the sensible money was on a home defeat, probably by tea.

But it was records, not wickets that tumbled. Firstly Saggers chose the day to score only the second half-century of his first-class career, which he then turned into a personal best, then Walker turned in a top-drawer innings to illustrate just how gifted he is.

Walker should have been sued for breach of his rich promise long ago. In the 10 years he has been on Kent's books he has signally underperformed as the figures show - a shade over 5,000 runs at a paltry 30.77, among which were, up to this match, just 10 hundreds.

That, though, could well be changing. He was one of a handful of heroes in Kent's woeful first innings, and when he emerged midway through yesterday's morning session with Kent three wickets down and still an imposing 323 runs away from saving the game, he simply got his head down and dug in again.

He and Saggers, who had just shared in a 72-run stand for the third wicket with Robert Key, further loosened Worcestershire's grip on the game with a 65-run stand.

Carberry arrived just after lunch and there followed 210 minutes of a classy double act, which realised 236 runs (a Kent fifth-wicket record against Worcestershire). Neither man showed any urgency, yet by tea Walker had his century, Carberry, who had scored his maiden Championship hundred just six days ago in the win over Gloucestershire, was on the brink of 50, and Kent were just 140 runs from the unthinkable.

Not even the new ball could help Worcestershire. Carberry came into his own, clubbing promising paceman Nadeem Malik for six, hitting his second in the next over off Vikram Solanki and revealing a range of superb shots.

When Carberry fell having hit an additional 13 boundaries in his 157-ball hundred, just 23 were needed. Walker cruised past 150 for the third time in his career, having hit 19 fours and a six in his disciplined four-and-three-quarter-hour sojourn, and Geraint Jones smacked a quickfire 20 to seal Worcestershire's fate.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album