Kent fall to Lancashire defeat
Kent fall to Lancashire defeat

Kent succumbed to a second County Championship defeat in a row on Sunday as Lancashire beat them by an innings and five runs.

The Spitfires were 209/1 overnight going into the final day of the match, following on after a poor 169 in the first innings once Lancashire had posted a mammoth 525. They had centurion Daniel Bell-Drummond still at the crease and 96 overs to survive in the day, but wickets fell in clusters, and the game was done just after 16:30 with England spinner Matt Parkinson picking up seven wickets in the innings and nine in the match.

Kent began the day 147 runs away from making Lancashire bat again after following on. Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond was 108 not out overnight, with England’s Zak unbeaten on 13 at the other end.

The start of the day was negotiated well by the home batsmen with Tom Bailey and Danny Lamb running in, and the 50 partnership was soon up with the Kent duo looking in little trouble. It was, however, part-timer Josh Bohannon who picked up a timely breakthrough, brought on first change in the day from the Nackington Road End. A bit of a nothing ball, he forced Bell-Drummond to play, and the Kent skipper ended up chopping onto his stumps. He was gone for 114 – a brilliant knock, but he would have hoped to bat for a bit longer.

Soon after, Matt Parkinson began to cause carnage. He had Crawley LBW for 36 – a contentious decision but the finger was raised. The ball seemed to hit Crawley on the toe on the full around leg stump, the angle surely sending it down, and the England batsman was less than amused to see umpire Nigel Long raise his finger.

Parkinson then had two in two balls. The out-of-form Jack Leaning was in at five and soon on his way, punching another full effort back to Parkinson for a third duck in four innings. The decision again looked harsh – Leaning appeared to strike the ball as it was in contact with the ground – a potential bump ball – but he was sent on his way.

Denly was dropped at mid-on as Parkinson continued to cause havoc, and the new ball was taken under the clouds by Lancashire, who had their tails up. The former England man and Heino Kuhn, however, managed to negotiate the last 100 minutes or so of the session with relative ease, leaving the hosts still with a fighting chance going into the afternoon.

The duo pushed past the 50 partnership soon after lunch, but Kuhn then fell to Lamb. The South African simply played down the wrong line – another close call, but the Lancs seamer was on the floor in celebration as the finger was raised to leave the visitors five wickets away from victory.

Denly soon followed, out to a neat delivery from Lamb, who got one to jag back in at the number four, who had his middle stump removed. He was out for 31, and number seven Darren Stevens was almost gone first ball – a close LBW appeal turned down.

The veteran was gone after five balls, though, with another Kent collapse well underway. Parkinson floated one up and Stevens took the bait, driving hard – a simple enough catch at cover for Rob Jones saw him on his way and left Kent reeling at 311/7 with over 50 overs still left in the day.

Jennings dropped Matt Milnes to prevent Parkinson’s five-fer, but the leg spinner had the haul two balls later, getting Milnes LBW, and there was no debate about that one.

Fred Klaassen hung around with Ollie Robinson until after tea, but Klaassen was caught by Croft under the helmet after a bat-pad off Parkinson. Miguel Cummins was in at 11 but inside-edged Parkinson to Jennings at short leg for Parkinson’s seventh wicket of the innings to confirm Kent’s defeat.

Plenty to ponder for those involved with Kent, and they will be looking to bounce back when they visit Glamorgan in their next game, starting Thursday.