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Lancashire complete victory at Kent late on final day

Lancashire complete victory at Kent late on final day

Lancashire have beaten Kent by ten wickets in their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, but only after the hosts frustrated them deep into the final day.

Matt Parkinson finished with match figures of seven for 158, while Hasan Ali took three for 36 in Kent’s second innings, but the visitors were held up by a defiant rearguard action from Ben Compton, who became the first Kent batter ever to score centuries in each of his first three innings for the club. When he was finally out for 115, Compton had faced 629 balls and batted for 856 minutes.

Compton and Hamid Qadri put on a stand of 139 for the eight wicket but Lancashire eventually clinched victory when they chased down a modest target of 33 to finish on 36 for nought.

The visitors had reduced Kent 81 for six overnight and home optimism was thin on the ground when a sparse crowd saw Parkinson remove Matt Milnes lbw with the sixth ball of the morning, without adding to his overnight score of eight.

Qadri, however, batted with discipline while also displaying flashes of style as he punished the looser deliveries. It frustrated Lancashire to the extent that Parkinson was switched from the Pavilion End to the Nackington Road and back again, to little avail.

Compton stole a single from him to bring up his 50 shortly before lunch and Qadri passed his previous high-score of 30, against Sussex at Canterbury last year, before racking up his maiden first class fifty when he elegantly cut George Balderson for four through backward point.

He was subsequently dropped on 53 by Steven Croft at second slip, after Hasan Ali found his edge, but his innings finally came to an end for 77, after 177 balls and 198 minutes, when Ali clipped his bail, the bowler howling with relief.

Nathan Gilchrist survived just 13 balls before Ali hit the top of his off stump, bowling him for a duck, but when Compton cut Parkinson for a single to level the scores it at least forced the visitors to bat again. He then conjured a reverse sweep off Luke Wells to bring up his history-making hundred.

The visitors’ frustration deepened when Compton survived a stumping chance off Parkinson, but he narrowly missed out on becoming the first Kent player ever to carry his bat in both innings when he was the last man out.

His last-wicket stand of 54 with Jackson Bird (17 not out) took the game into an unexpected final session, but he was lbw to Balderson just as home supporters were starting to calculate how many overs they needed to survive to make things interesting.

Balderson and Wells eased to the target in 7.1 overs, finishing unbeaten on 23 and 13 respectively, the latter hitting the winning runs when he clipped Qadri for four.

Photos by Luke Adams


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