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Kent wrap up Lancashire win
Kent wrap up Lancashire win

Daniel Bell-Drummond made an unbeaten 79 to steer his side to a deserved seven-wicket victory over Lancashire in the Vitality County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford. 

The Kent skipper has now passed fifty in four of his eight innings this season but he and the other Kent batters had to withstand a trial by spin before reaching their target of 164 and completing their county’s first win on the ground since 1997.   

Both Nathan Lyon and Tom Hartley induced a number of false shots in the first hour of play and umpires Paul Pollard and Graham Lloyd turned down a number of vociferous appeals as Lancashire sought to win a first-class match after following on for the first time since 1888. 

However, it was noticeable that Kent’s top order managed to keep the scoreboard moving even when batting was difficult and Lancashire bowled no maidens on the final day. 

Both the wickets to fall were taken by Lyon, who caught and bowled Ben Compton for 29, thus ending his 86-run stand with Bell-Drummond, before having Jack Leaning caught at slip by Luke Wells for 16.

But those wickets never threatened to prompt a collapse and the game ended in a flurry of boundaries as the visitors completed their first win of the season eight minutes before the scheduled lunch interval. 

Joe Denly struck the winning four to finish on 19 not out. Lyon took two for 48 from 22 overs while Hartley bowled 13 wicketless overs for 42 runs.

It is Kent’s first Championship victory over Lancashire since 2013 and it moves them up to sixth in the First Division table. Lancashire are still without a win this season and remain bottom of the pile. 

Kent batter and captain, Daniel Bell-Drummond, said: “We’re really happy and the guys are just soaking it in at the moment to be honest. It’s been a brilliant four days and the guys have worked so hard.”

“These wins don’t come easy for us so we have to build on this and take the confidence going forwards. Both Wes Agar and Nathan Gilchrist bowled brilliantly.”

“It was world-class bowling that bowled them out very cheaply in the first innings and put us in the box-seat in the game. They were hungry to get back into it and they really showed their class.”

“It was a tough little period for us this morning. Ben Compton and I knew we had to get through it and I tried to take the attack to them as much as possible.”

“I found it very tough but I backed my technique, backed my defence and I was glad to be not out at the end.”

“It always helps to lead from the front as a captain but it was a team effort and the guys have put in a shift. Joey Evison is really batting well at the moment and we now need to go again in the game with Worcestershire.”

“We’ll respect Worcestershire because they’re a very good team and they have some very good bowlers in their attack. But we know how the pitch at Canterbury is going to play and we’re really looking forward to that clash.”

“These wins are not easy to come by, so hopefully we can go from strength to strength. This is a very proud day for me but now we have three days off and then we’re back to it.”   

Kent head coach, Matthew Walker, said: “It’s a big win and a big result for us. It’s hard to put into context how good a win that was. We haven’t won here since 1997 and apparently I was playing in that game but I can’t remember anything about it.”

“Lancashire are a very good side and on their home ground I’d say they are as tough to beat as anyone in the country.”

“We’ve been very guilty of two or three players doing well but not much else from the rest of the team. The numbers look good at the end of the season but it’s that collective effort that we’ve lacked.”

“We did the little things really well this week, even in the smallest moments. Getting through that period last night was probably the most significant.”

“They came very hard at us for 25-26 overs but there was that calmness from Daniel and Ben Compton, when they were under immense pressure.”

“They were at us hard and to get through that one down and to walk off one down a good chunk into that total was very important. There’s been a calmness in the dressing room this year and we try to promote that.”

Lancashire head coach, Dale Benkenstein, said: “It’s always disappointing to be on the wrong side of it.  A couple of things coming into the job, everyone mentioned it’s hard to get results here.”

“We’ve tried a few things in the first two home games, managed to get a pitch to spin in the first one in quite rainy conditions, and I think this was one of the best pitches I’ve seen with the ball carrying, bringing the seamers into the game, and also some real life for the spinners.”

“An innings where you are 50 for eight and get bowled out for 92, you are going to be struggling. That was disappointing. There was some good bowling and some pretty poor decisions from our batters.”

“The nice thing is over the last two days we’ve played some very good cricket. That’s where we will focus on and try and take it into the next game.”

“I thought we bowled far better than wickets suggests. We’ve not had one decision from the umpires. There were quite a few appeals and I think they were under real pressure. We never really had enough runs on the board.”

“But it was great to see your team go out there and still believe they can win. If we’d got one or two wickets then it could have been a really interesting finish.”