Kent collapse to Somerset defeat
Kent collapse to Somerset defeat

Kent lost their last eight wickets inside 46 minutes as Specsavers County Championship leaders Somerset dodged the showers to clinch a dramatic 10-wicket win on a rain-affected final day in Canterbury.

The West Country county feared any potential victory dash would be thwarted by yet more rain. Having already lost the first and third days of this first division match to bad weather, the players could only look on as showers returned to wipe out a further 33 overs of the fourth and final morning.

But the clouds finally moved on and the drizzle abated enabling a 1.45pm re-start that inspired Somerset and their right-arm seamer, Lewis Gregory, in particular.

Fresh from a first-innings career-best of six for 32, Gregory mopped up five for 21 as Kent’s last eight wickets fell for 27 runs in the space of 62 balls.

Resuming their second-innings of 24 for two from day two of the game – an overall match deficit of six runs – Kent soon found themselves in even deeper in trouble.

The hosts were only two runs ahead overall when Harry Podmore, Kent’s night watchman, played back and across the line to Jack Brooks and became the 11th leg before victim of the game.

Gregory then grabbed centre stage with three more, quickfire wickets to secure only his second 10-wicket match haul in first-class cricket as well as sensational best-ever match figures of 11 for 53.

Gregory had Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn and Alex Blake all caught in the slip cordon, while Jamie Overton chipped in by having Sean Dickson caught at slip for a battling top-score of 22.

Ollie Robinson and veteran Darren Stevens moved Kent’s score beyond their all-time lowest total against Somerset – 55 scored at Tonbridge in 1926 – before Stevens and Grant Stewart both fell lbw in a double-wicket maiden from Craig Overton.

Gregory duly landed the coup de grâce and took deserved possession of the match ball by having Robinson well caught by keeper Steve Davies off a thick inside edge.

Kent’s capitulation left Somerset to score 30 for their fifth win of six starts, which openers Azhar Ali and Tom Abell achieved at the canter within 40 balls and without loss of wickets.

Somerset banked 19 points while Kent took only three from their fourth defeat of the season.

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