Defiant Kent fall to Gloucestershire defeat

LV County Championship Division Two, Canterbury
Gloucestershire 292 & 206 beat Kent 208 & 245 by 45 runs
Glos 21pts, Kent 4pts
Match scorecard

Kent resisted long into the final day, but eventually fell to a 45-run defeat by Gloucestershire at Canterbury.

Resuming on 52-2 in pursuit of a victory target of 291, the home side were reduced to 152-7.

But Azhar Mahmood (70) and Simon Cook (22) added 70 for the eight wicket to give Kent some hope.

However, Will Gidman (3-37) removed both men, then had Robbie Joseph caught behind to earn Gloucestershire their second win of the season.

Kent may have completed an unlikely victory had a third-wicket stand of 64 between Geraint Jones (40) and Martin van Jaarsveld not been followed by the loss of four wickets for seven runs in the space of 16 balls.

Jones was bowled by David Payne, who then had van Jaarsveld superbly caught at first slip by Ian Cockbain, while Darren Stevens and James Tredwell both fell to Hamish Marshall.

After Adam Ball pulled Ian Saxelby to mid on, it was left to Mahmood and Cook to try and get Kent close to their target.

Their entertaining stand did just that but, when Cook was caught behind, Mahmmod only had injured pair Robbie Joseph (thigh strain) and Joe Denly (broken thumb) for company.

Wicketkeeper Jon Batty clung on to an edge from Joseph, before Mahmood played across a full one to be trapped lbw, completing Gloucestershire's victory.

POST-MATCH SUMMARY

BBC Radio Kent's Ben Croucher:

"Kent were always behind the eight ball. Their batsmen are yet to come good, but the stunning catch by Gloucestershire's Ian Cockbain to remove Martin van Jaarsveld was worthy of the entrance fee alone.

"Kent can consider themselves unfortunate to be ravished by injuries, but credit Joe Denly and Robbie Joseph for fighting to the death for Kent.

"Their depleted squad gives the opportunities for Kent's youngsters to shine and put pressure on their more experienced colleagues."

Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"It was a really good cricket match, a hard fought game and we just pipped them really, we probably played the more consistent cricket over the four days and thoroughly deserved our win.

"'Patience' was a word we had to use for the whole game, it was never a game where things were going to happen quickly for us with bat or ball.

"Having said that, we took four wickets in 16 balls in the middle which was a bit bizarre, but we had to be patient and just keep sticking to our plans and trust that they'd come off in the end."

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