Robinson runs short

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Notts 491-9 dec

Kent 533 and 83-0

TIM ROBINSON will still be berating himself this morning for his narrow failure to complete a double century here yesterday, but he has the consolation of having almost single-handedly saved the match for Nottinghamshire.

The Nottinghamshire captain came within one shot of a double-century, which, following Aravinda de Silva's dashing 225 for Kent in their first innings, would have been the first time that feat had been achieved here twice in a match since 1947.

Robinson's formidable powers of concentration had been in evidence throughout his 451- minute knock, so it was as uncharacteristic for him to fall in the way he did as it would be for him to chance a rash and risky declaration.

He had already hit Min Patel for 14 in the over when he backed away to give himself room for a square cut to bring up his landmark. The ball was too straight and too low for the shot and Robinson departed, clean- bowled and obviously disgusted by his lapse. Robinson had been even closer - three runs in fact - to taking Nottinghamshire past the 384 they needed to avoid the follow-on.

That mark was duly reached in the next over with a single to Wayne Noon, but Robinson had once more emphasised just how heavily his side relies on his continuing ability to accumulate runs.

The century, which he completed after 20 minutes of the morning session, was his fourth of the season. Nottinghamshire's other batsman have contributed a grand total of just one between the lot of them.

It was unsurprising, then, that Robinson should have received only modest support from his team-mates in his attempt to keep Kent at bay.

Paul Johnson went quickly, bowled by Martin McCague, and Chris Cairns' breezy 30 ended with a pull caught inside the boundary rope to ensure that he would be back in the pavilion in plenty of time to watch his countrymen lose the Rugby World Cup final. Robinson brought up his 150 with an extravagant square-cut off Tim Wren, but then lost John Wileman, brilliantly caught in the gully by Trevor Ward off the same bowler.

Noon and Usman Afzaal both succumbed to Mark Ealham soon after Robinson went, but Andy Pick and Jim Hindson hammered 97 from 18 overs, Robinson waiting for Pick to reach a rare 50 before declaring, 42 runs behind on first innings.

Kent, batting without their captain Mark Benson, who sprained his ankle in the changing rooms, took their advantage to 125 without loss by close of play, Trevor Ward underlining what a lucrative wicket this is with an effortless half-century.

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