County Championship: Darren Stevens smashes ton as Kent claim first win of the season

Kent registered a first LV=Insurance County Championship win of the season as Leicestershire were beaten by 132 runs after an extraordinary third day’s play in their Division Three clash in Leicester.

With Kent resuming on 210-9 in their second innings – leading by 333 – 45-year-old Darren Stevens (107no) firstly transformed his overnight score off 55 not out into an unbeaten 107 in just 28 deliveries!

Kent pace bowler Matt Milnes then claimed a career-best 6-53 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 253 in their second innings, but that told only half the story of a bizarre two sessions of play.

With Kent finally bowled out for 262, leaving Leicestershire chasing an unlikely 386 to win on a pitch aiding spin and in swing-friendly overhead conditions, by lunch the home side had slumped to 20-6!

But then an aggressive 70 off 52 balls from Ben Mike sparked an explosive rearguard from the Leicestershire tail. Ed Barnes matched him with an unbeaten 70, while Will Davis contributed with a career-best 42 as the last four wickets added a scarcely credible 233 runs.

Davis ultimately was the final wicket to fall, edging one behind from Nathan Gilchrist, allowing Kent to finally celebrate a first win of the season.

Division One

Dane Paterson claimed three wickets in an over as Nottinghamshire wrapped up a resounding Division One victory over Somerset at Taunton.

The South African seamer sent back Tom Banton (17), Roelof van der Merwe (0) and Lewis Goldsworthy (11) with the first, second and fifth balls of the 49th over as the home side were skittled for 181 in their second innings.

Paterson finished with figures of 4-46 in a victory by an innings and 160 runs, completed in the final session of the third day.

Earlier, Somerset’s last three first-innings wickets had fallen for 20 runs to see them bowled out for 107 in reply to Notts’ 448 – two of them went to Brett Hutton (3-42); Luke Fletcher finished with 4-21 from his 11 overs.

Lancashire‘s Josh Bohannon scored a magnificent 170 against Warwickshire on day three at Emirates Old Trafford, though the game looks to be heading towards a final-day draw.

The 24-year-old batted from the start of play until just before 5pm in compiling his second century of what is becoming a memorable 2021 season, with his average now standing at 66.27 – numbers that are prompting talk of an England call-up of some kind this winter.

Bohannon’s efforts saw the Red Rose bowled out for 341 after resuming day three on 100-1, leaving them trailing by just 30 runs on first innings – Warwickshire grateful for Liam Norwell’s 6-57.

The visitors then faced a tricky period of 19 overs with the bat before closing on 52-1 – Saqib Mahmood bowling Robert Yates for one, but Dom Sibley (17no) and first-innings centurion Chris Benjamin (28no) remain unbeaten.

At the Ageas Bowl, Yorkshire put themselves firmly in a strong position to wrap up a comprehensive victory over an under-manned Hampshire after another day of dominance.

Starting their second innings on 34-1, with a lead of 114 runs, the visitors batted their dispirited opponents out of the game as they ultimately declared on 312-6 – Gary Ballance (101no) chalking up his first century of the season – to set a mammoth victory target of 392.

Yorkshire then reduced the hosts to 26-2 before the close, as Ben Coad dismissed Ian Holland for three thanks to a one-handed diving slip catch from Harry Brook and Dom Bess picked up Tom Alsop fell in the penultimate over of the day.

Division Two

Essex wrapped up a comprehensive, innings-and-74-run win over Glamorgan in Cardiff as they bowled the Welsh side out for just 112 on day three.

The action on the third morning at Sophia Gardens lasted just 32 minutes, with the hosts losing their last four wickets in quickfire fashion – Sam Cook (5-37) took three of them to claim a five-for, while Jamie Porter (3-35) took the other.

The home side’s first-innings total of 134 was easily overhauled by Essex’s 320 and Glamorgan were even worse with the bat second time around.

In Bristol, Ryan Higgins led a Gloucestershire charge on third afternoon as the home side came storming back into the contest – Northamptonshire reduced to 92-7 in their second innings, leading by 228.

Higgins took 3-26 and Tom Price 2-22 as to see Gloucestershire stay alive in a game they looked well out of when dismissed for 191 in reply to Northants’ first-innings 327.

Fifty-six from Graeme van Buuren and superb resistance from Gloucestershire’s tail – a 97-ball 24 from Matt Taylor and Jared Warner’s 10 from a 82 deliveries – had helped ensure they avoided the follow-on before the bowlers seized upon the momentum to leave Northants’ second innings in tatters.

Division Three

Dan Ibrahim gave another demonstration of his outstanding promise with an unbeaten half century for Sussex on day three of their encounter with Worcestershire at New Road.

Ibrahim celebrated his call-up into the England Under-19 squad for the forthcoming ODIs against the West Indies by hitting 56 not out to steer Sussex into a strong position at 199-6 in their second innings – with an overall lead of 250 – when bad light ended play early.

Having become the youngest ever player (at 16 years and 299 days) to score a half century in the County Championship, against Yorkshire in June, Ibrahim here followed up his first innings 48 and 2-9 in nine overs with the ball with another accomplished knock.

His efforts, coupled with a second half century of the game from Ali Orr (57), helped Sussex recover from having been 3-3 early in their second innings after Worcestershire were bowled out for 213 in their first.

At Lord’s, a last-wicket stand of 58 between Middlesex‘s Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh leaves Derbyshire needing the fifth-highest run chase in their history going into the fourth and final day.

The two pacemen missed eclipsing Middlesex’s 10th-wicket record against Derbyshire of 66 set three years ago, but their stellar effort carried the hosts to 256 all out, and a lead of 333. Sam Robson top-scored with 52, while Alex Thomson claimed 3-71 for the visitors.

Murtagh then removed Luis Reece as Derbyshire limped to 42-1 in an absorbing last session truncated by bad light, a further 292 runs still required.


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