Kent end season with defeat
Kent end season with defeat

Glamorgan chalked up their third win of the Specsavers County Championship campaign with more than a day to spare after reaching 192 for five in Canterbury to inflict a first home defeat of the season by five wickets upon a weary and downcast Kent side.

Having dismissed the hosts for a meagre 115 in their second innings, Glamorgan made the best of starts to their pursuit of a 189-run victory target when openers Nick Selman and Connor Brown posted 96 – the best partnership for any wicket in the match.

Brown ought to have departed with 15 to his name when Darren Stevens downed a regulation slip catch off the bowling of Calum Haggett, then Haggett was again the luckless bowler when Selman, on 64, was dropped by Zak Crawley at third slip.

Brown finally went for 33 to Haggett, caught at point at the second attempt by substitute fielder Oli Robinson, then, with his score on 70, Selman flayed at a wide one from Stevens to be caught behind for his 62nd first-class wicket and a career-best season’s haul.

With is next ball 41-year-old Stevens pegged back Kiran Carlson’s off stump via an inside edge then, just before tea, Jack Murphy flayed a wide one to Zak Crawley in the gully to give the Kent veteran five wickets in the match.

Only 10 balls after tea Chris Cooke drove a return catch to left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum, so it was left to David Lloyd, who scored a pugnacious unbeaten 35, to see his side over the win line with a slog-swept six off Qayyum.

Admittedly, conditions on day three fell with outrageous good fortune in Glamorgan’s favour – they bowled on a steamy overcast morning and batted under blue skies all afternoon – but for Kent it was pretty much all gloom and doom as their last day’s action of the season ended with a second championship defeat of the summer and their first red-ball defeat to Glamorgan on home soil since 1992 [Glamorgan secured an eight-wicket victory in an experimental pink-ball, four-day game here in 2011] .

At the start of the day, one-time promotion-chasers Kent resumed on their overnight score of 98 for six – a lead of 171 – and with top-scorer Adam Rouse, the county’s understudy wicketkeeper and substitute for Sam Billings, at the crease. But home hopes of setting a testing 200-plus target were soon quashed as Kent lost their last four wickets for nine runs in the space of 26 balls.

Haggett started the collapse, aiming an ambitious push drive at the ever-consistent Michael Hogan, Haggett played outside an off-cutter that darted down the Canterbury slope to pluck out middle stump and give Hogan five-wickets.

Rouse’s resistance ended for 44 when he toe-ended an attempted pull against Lucas Carey to mid-on, then, five balls later, Carey struck again by having Kent debutant Grant Stewart caught in the cordon by former Kent 2nd XI batsman Nick Selman.

Hogan polished it off by having last man Imran Qayyum caught behind for a first-ball duck to finish with six for 43 and career-best match figures of 10 for 87.

Disappointed Kent coach Matt Walker said: “It was a typical end of season performance by us. We didn’t play well enough over the course of the four days to merit anything. It was a demotivated effort after the Chesterfield wash-out last week the boys had little to play for and I felt for them in a way because they were in a difficult place.

“Hogan bowled beautifully last night and caught us on the hop a bit and we struggled to get back from there. It was a disappointing way to lose another game, because my message to end the season was to finish on a high. It’s a bit of a damp squib, this season hasn’t really happened for us but I cant grumble in terms of the effort that the boys have put in.”

Michael Hogan, Glamorgan’s victorious skipper said: “It was a nice way to finish the season and good for a group of young Welsh lads to go through this sort of game and win. We had a close one at Colwyn Bay where we didn’t quite get over the win line, so it was great for the boys to experience winning here.

“There were times in this game where we might have buckled, but we didn’t and that’s all credit to the guys. It was the type of wicket where, if you got on a roll, you could pick up wickets in clusters. We got it right last night, and followed up this morning with four quick wickets that gave us a great chance. We had good conditions to bowl this morning, before the sun came out, but you’ve still got to put it in the right areas and take the catches. I’m delighted that we did.”