County Championship: James Foster seals Essex win over Kent
|LV= County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford (day three)|
|Kent 193 & 163: Northeast 77, Masters 4-45|
|Essex 164 & 193-5: Foster 80no, Claydon 3-55|
|Essex beat Kent by five wickets|
|Essex 19pts, Kent 3pts|
Essex captain James Foster kept his composure to lead his side to a five-wicket win over Kent at Chelmsford.
The hosts began day three of this Division Two match needing another 127 to reach their victory target of 198.
Mitchell Claydon (3-55) soon removed Dan Lawrence, but James Porter helped Foster add 66 for the fifth wicket.
Porter was eventually bowled via his helmet by Matt Coles, but Foster (80no) and Jesse Ryder (17) saw Essex home on 193-5 in the second over after lunch.
Essex, who finished third in Division Two last season, were never able to relax during the morning session on a pitch which had seen 33 wickets fall on the first two days.
Nightwatchman Porter showed tremendous resolve to survive for almost two hours in support of his captain and was unlucky to depart for 14 - made from 85 balls - as he tried to evade a rising delivery from Coles.
Needing another 23 after lunch, Essex only took nine balls to finish the job.
Foster hit 16 from the opening over, including a six over mid-wicket and two fours, and Ryder cleared the rope at long-on from the first ball of the next before ending the match with a single.
Essex captain James Foster:
"I'm very pleased at the way we went about our business.
"It was a target of ours to build on the momentum we gained at the end of last season when we won six of our last seven games and we've started off successfully.
"We were indebted to Graham Napier for his first-innings contribution with the bat that got us to within a few runs of the Kent score.
"With our bowling attack, we felt that we could restrict them second time around and give ourselves a good chance."
Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:
"I thought we didn't have any luck early today. They were playing and missing a lot, but we stuck to our plans. We gave it everything we had but it just didn't go our way.
"We felt if we got over 180 in our second innings that we had a good chance, but the wicket got a little bit flatter."