Lancs take early wickets but Kent rally after following-on
Lancashire’s bid for victory in this LV= Insurance County Championship match was held up by a battling rear-guard action from the Kent opening batsmen after the hosts were made to follow-on.
A rampant Red Rose attack took the remaining six first-innings wickets by lunch on the third morning, but found the going a much tougher proposition second time around on an increasingly placid Canterbury pitch.
Matt Parkinson struck late in the afternoon to break a century partnership from opening pair Daniel Bell-Drummond and Jordan Cox but Lancashire will need nine more when play resumes tomorrow with the hosts closing on 209-1, still 147 runs in arrears.
The day began in sensational fashion as Zak Crawley played loosely at the first ball of the day from Tom Bailey that he edged behind to Alex Davies for 60 to leave Kent 85-5 in their first innings.
That was a great start because Crawley had looked to be in fine form during the evening session yesterday and Lancashire’s day continued to improve when Parkinson was brought into the attack.
The leg spinner struck with his sixth delivery when Heino Kuhn top edged a sweep to Rob Jones at midwicket, and the ball after seeing Darren Stevens dropped, Parkinson responded by trapping the veteran all-rounder lbw for 1.
Bailey (4-46) then chipped in with two wickets in two balls; nipping a delivery back to bowl Ollie Robinson for 21 and then finding the edge of Fred Klassen’s bat with Keaton Jennings taking a good catch, low to his right at first slip, to leave Kent 133-9.
Miguel Cummins thumped a six and a couple of boundaries before being last out on the stroke of lunch, brilliantly caught one-handed by Dane Vilas at mid-off for 19 after he had driven hard at Josh Bohannon to cap an outstanding morning’s work by the Red Rose bowlers.
Kent, 169 all out and trailing by 356 runs, were made to follow-on after the interval but Bell-Drummond and Cox responded with a big century partnership, an Impressive effort under pressure, to frustrate Lancashire’s victory bid.
With little help coming from the pitch, the bowlers had little alternative but to resort to bowling straight and attempt to restrict the scoring while hunting for a mistake by the batsman.
Dane Vilas rotated his attack but by and large, the Kent openers had few alarms apart from an occasional delivery keeping low.
Bell-Drummond and Cox batted through the afternoon, each posting half centuries, to reach tea on 141-0 and they continued to make progress steadily through the evening until Cox, having made 80 of his teams’ 176 runs, drove Parkinson uppishly to cover where Jones made a fine diving catch.
The host’s captain went on to reach an excellent century from 180 balls and was still there on 108 at the close alongside Crawley (13 not out) with Kent 209-1 and fighting hard to save this game.