County Championship: Dom Sibley hits career-best 244 in Warwickshire draw with Kent

Dom Sibley in action for Warwickshire
Dom Sibley faced 491 balls and scored 34 fours in his 244
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day four):
Kent 585-7 dec: Bell-Drummond 166, Dickson 161; Wainman 3-112
Warwickshire 574-7 dec: Sibley 244, Rhodes 109: Stewart 2-120
Kent (10 pts) drew with Warwickshire (9 pts)

Dom Sibley was out for a career-best 244 as Warwickshire's run-fest with Kent meandered to an inevitable draw.

Sibley took his overnight tally of 207 past Billy Root's 229, for Glamorgan against Northants, to post the highest County Championship score this season.

The Bears vice-captain helped his side to 574-7 declared, capped by Ben Mike's career-best 45 not out on his debut.

They ended 11 runs shy of Kent's first-innings total before a draw was agreed on day four at Canterbury.

Sibley beat his previous career-best score of 242, made against Yorkshire as a teenage schoolboy for Surrey in 2013.

After becoming the first batsman this season to the landmark of 1,000 first-class runs the previous day, Sibley quickly helped Warwickshire make the 36 runs they needed to avoid having to follow on.

That ended slim, lingering hopes of a positive result in Kent's favour and the game petered out with little excitement in the final two sessions.

Warwickshire now stand 33 points clear of bottom club Nottinghamshire ahead of Saturday's trip to Southampton to face Hampshire, while Kent are back in action on Sunday against Surrey at The Oval.

Kent head coach Matt Walker:

"It's been a tough four days for the bowlers for sure. But I've got nothing but praise for our groundsman, Adrian Llong, who has been brilliant since taking over in the close season.

"We've asked him to take more moisture out of the wickets here, which he's achieved and we've asked to play on better wickets. The fact is, this is just a bit docile and it's ended up as a bore draw.

"Sometimes that happens, there's no blame attached to it at all. The bottom line is we'll walk away with 10 points and with a number of our top-order batsmen feeling in good touch and move on to The Oval next week with a good draw behind us.

"We said at the start of the season that if we can't win a game, then we must ensure we don't lose and come away with batting points in the bank, and that's what we've achieved this week."

Bears vice captain Dom Sibley told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"I've never found concentrating for several sessions that difficult. It's something that has come naturally to me from a very young age. I've always been able to bat long periods ever since school.

"I got a double ton for Surrey quite early in my career and that seems like a lifetime ago now. So, it was nice to get another one here and spend time out there with Will Rhodes. He batted brilliantly for his hundred. We seem to have managed to get this good combo going. We compliment each other quite nicely.

"It's always difficult for bowling attacks when they're trying to contain right and left-handers. He scores in different areas to those that I do and most of all we enjoy each other's company out there.

"I wasn't even aware that I'd gone past 1,000 first-class runs for the season. I'm never that fussed about stuff like that, I just want to keep scoring runs for Warwickshire and see where that takes me."

Injured Mulder recalled to South Africa

Kent's South African Test all-rounder Wiaan Mulder has been recalled by Cricket South Africa as a precautionary measure in order to rest a foot injury.

Mulder is expected to be involved in either the full Test side or the "A" team when they tour India at the end of August.

He averaged 28.50 with the bat in his three appearances for Kent and took 10 wickets at an average of 30.70.

"It is a great pity Wiaan is unable to finish his stint with us," said Kent director of cricket Paul Downton. "He is an exceptional young man with a great cricketing future."

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