|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day three):|
|Hampshire 409-9 dec & 119-2: Rahane 42|
|Kent 555: Denly 154, Kuhn 95, Bell-Drummond 94; Edwards 5-118|
|Hampshire (6 pts) trail Kent (7 pts) by 27 runs|
Kent piled up 555 against Hampshire in their high-scoring game at Southampton.
Picking up on 319-3, Kent captain Joe Denly reached 154 before being trapped lbw by Keith Barker with the new ball.
Heino Kuhn (95) and Darren Stevens (60) helped extend Kent’s advantage as they were bowled out with a lead of 146 runs – as Fidel Edwards took 5-118.
Hampshire lost Felix Organ and Ajinkya Rahane (42) but Ian Holland and Rilee Rossouw guided them to 119-2 at the close, 27 runs behind the visitors.
England batsman Denly added 16 runs to his overnight score, with his innings including 20 fours and one six, before he was caught out by a Barker inswinger.
Edwards picked up the wickets of Ollie Robinson and Grant Stewart – the latter for a duck – in quick succession but Kent surpassed Hampshire’s first innings total and continued to pile on the runs as Stevens and Kuhn put on 92 for the seventh wicket.
Kuhn fell short of his first Championship century of the campaign as he was roughed up by some short balls by Edwards and eventually clean bowled by the former West Indies Test bowler.
Hampshire came under pressure early in their second innings when Stevens removed Organ lbw and Stewart ended India batsman Rahane’s final innings for the county, leaving the hosts on 66-2.
However, Holland and Rossouw were both left on 37 not out at stumps, with both sides hoping for a final-day victory in order to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Hampshire fast bowler Fidel Edwards:
“I had to put in some hard yards as that is what the team required. We have been in the dirt for the last three innings and it has been hard for us.
“It is always good to get a five-wicket haul but it would have been better if we were in a better position. We are most disappointed at how quickly they were scoring.
“The boys have batted pretty well in the end so we will see how we are in the morning. But we are still behind in the game..”
Kent batsman Joe Denly:
“It is going to be hard graft. We might have liked a couple more wickets but the pitch is a new ball wicket and we couldn’t make the in roads unfortunately.
“They probably don’t have the batting order they would have liked so if we can take some early wickets and put that middle order under pressure then you never know.
“It has been nice to contribute and score runs for Kent in recent weeks after the disappointment with England and their amazing World Cup campaign. Hopefully my runs will give a little nudge to the selectors.”
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