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Parkinson in seventh heaven with career-best as Lancs win at Kent

Parkinson in seventh heaven with career-best as Lancs win at Kent

Matt Parkinson led a herculean Lancashire bowling effort that culminated in a thrilling innings victory against Kent during the final session at Canterbury.

Two hard days of effort came to fruition when Parkinson had last man Miguel Cummins caught by Keaton Jennings just after 4.30pm to claim a career-best 7-126 from a mammoth 52 overs to give the Red Rose a second victory in this LV= Insurance County Championship campaign.

At the start of the day Lancashire needed nine wickets, a hard-looking task on a placid track, but for the second day in a row the bowlers captured early Kent wickets to raise hopes.

Zak Crawley had flicked Danny Lamb imperiously through midwicket for four to bring up the second-wicket 50 partnership off 128 balls with Heino Kuhn after twenty minutes’ play. But Crawley was soon one of three wickets to fall in the space of 20 deliveries just after half an hour of play.

Daniel Bell-Drummond was the first to go, the Kent skipper bottom-edging a cut off Josh Bohannon onto his stumps for 114 and, having removed yesterday’s century maker, Lancashire inflicted further damage to the hosts’ top order.

Matt Parkinson picked up the big wicket of Crawley, lbw for 36, and followed by catching Jack Leaning’s forceful drive off his own bowling from the following delivery to leave Kent suddenly struggling on 238-4 and still needing 118 more runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Joe Denly and Heino Kuhn dug in either side of lunch, reaching their fifty partnership from 146 balls and successfully negotiating the introduction of the second new ball to settle the home side’s nerves.

But after a period of calm, three wickets in 17 balls stunned the hosts’ as Lancashire revived their own hopes of forcing a result.

It was Lamb who made the breakthrough when he trapped Kuhn lbw playing forward down the wrong line for 32 and the all-rounder continued to enjoy a fine match when he nipped the ball back to comprehensively bowl Denly for 31 in his next over.

Darren Stevens then drove loosely at Parkinson to find Jones at cover from his fifth ball faced and put Kent in deep trouble on 311-7.

And the leg spinner claimed his fifth wicket of the innings twelve overs later when he spun one past Matt Milnes forward defensive push to be lbw for 14.

Ollie Robinson and Fred Klaassen settled for occupying the crease, reaching tea on 345-8 and just 11 runs behind with 34 overs left.

But Parkinson, who had previously only bowled more than 30 overs and no more than 33, in an innings on three occasions was not to be denied, eventually bowling a marathon 52 overs and constantly beating the bat and asking questions of the Kent lower order.

Robinson (28 not out) did his best to take most of the strike but it seemed inevitable that Parkinson would have the final say and that came quickly with two bat/pad catches; Klaassen to Steven Croft and Cummins to Jennings to complete a fine, hard-won, victory by an innings and 5 runs with 25 overs left.

Lancashire take 22 points from the match and Kent 2.

The next LV= Insurance County Championship match starts on Thursday when Lancashire travel to Hove to play Sussex.

Ken Grime

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