County Championship: Kent settle for draw with Hampshire

Kent's Joe Denly appeals for a wicket
Joe Denly was the pick of the Kent bowlers, taking 3-48 as Hampshire were dismissed for 298 in their second innings
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day four):
Hampshire 409-9 dec & 298: Holland 69, Russouw 66; Denly 3-48
Kent 555: Denly 154, Edwards 5-118 & 57-3
Kent (12 pts) drew with Hampshire (11 pts)

Kent settled for a draw against Hampshire after calling time on a tough run-chase in the final hour.

After Hampshire lost their last four wickets for 28 runs in the last session that left Kent needing 153 in 17 overs.

But the visitors decided to shake hands, having been reduced to 57-3 in the ninth over of their chase.

Earlier the hosts had stumbled from 184-2 to 186-5, when Ian Holland (69) and Rilee Rossouw (66) both went, before they were bowled out for 298.

Resuming on 119-2, trailing by 27, Hampshire got in front of the visitors in the morning session, with both batsmen passing their half-centuries, before spin undid their middle order before lunch.

Joe Denly (3-48) made the breakthrough as Rossouw was caught in the deep by Daniel Bell-Drummond and, after Ollie Rayner had Holland caught behind in the following over, Denly returned to trap Gareth Berg lbw for a duck.

Darren Stevens had Lewis McManus caught in the slips by Sean Dickson but Kent's bowling attack lost momentum after taking the new ball.

But the departure of Aneurin Donald for 43, hooking a short ball from Matthew Milnes to Bell-Drummond, prompted a collapse which gave Kent a glimmer of victory.

With no fielding restrictions in place in the County Championship, the likelihood of a successful chase appeared distant, and Kent lost Dickson in the second over of their innings.

Alex Blake, in as a concussion replacement for Heino Kuhn, was out for 15 as he was caught by McManus off Fidel Edwards and after Bell-Drummond played a delivery from Kyle Abbott onto his own stumps in the following over, the visitors decided to split the points with the required run-rate rising.

Hampshire stand-in skipper Kyle Abbott:

"It was pretty exciting towards the end and talking to a couple of spectators on the boundary they were thoroughly enjoying it. We might has well have skipped three and a half days and just set them 160 in 15 overs and played from there.

"We had a few stern words earlier in the match where I didn't think the boys had pitched up. We were slightly off the boil. We were in a great position after day one and we didn't come with enough intensity on day two. I felt we sat back and almost lost a lot of momentum.

"I haven't done a lot of captaincy in the past, maybe not since school days. It was challenging especially when I was bowling. I almost lost thought of what I was doing. We came off a tough week and whenever I asked the guys to come back for another over they were incredible."

Kent batsman Joe Denly:

"We couldn't take those wickets earlier enough in the day. It was a tricky track. Those wickets just after tea kept us interested. It was turning quite a bit for me out the rough to the left handers and I managed to create a few chances. And Matt Milnes and Grant Stewart came in for a few overs to cause some trouble.

"It was a little bit too late in the end. It wasn't as if we had a power play. They had everyone on the boundary which made it hard work to score. We needed to get off to more of a flier and put their bowlers under pressure and we weren't able to do that.

"It was exciting and I'm sure the crowd enjoyed it for an hour or so. But the draw was a fair result. It has been a long couple of weeks for us and the bowling unit and there were some tired legs out there. The efforts they showed was great but not quite good enough."

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