Kent wrap up victory over Essex
|LV County Championship Division Two, Canterbury|
|Kent 260 & 72-4 beat Essex 144 & 185 by six wickets|
|Kent 21pts, Essex 3pts|
Kent wrapped up a six-wicket win over Essex before lunch on the third day but were then docked eight points for a "poor" Canterbury pitch.
Essex resumed on 180-9 and added just five more runs before David Balcombe (4-51) removed Tom Craddock to complete his first 10-wicket county match haul.
Graham Napier (3-42) helped reduce Kent to 35-4 in pursuit of 70 for victory.
However, skipper Geraint Jones blasted an unbeaten 28 from 14 balls to see his side over the winning line.
Kent then lost eight of the 21 points they earned from their victory after an England and Wales Cricket Board Pitch Panel comprising John Jameson and Tony Pigott ruled that the pitch has demonstarted excessive unevenness of bounce and rated it as "poor".
Kent captain Geraint Jones told BBC Radio Kent:
"The boys have done me proud since I've taken over.
"It was a tremendous effort for us to get up to 260 on a wicket that was tough.
"David Balcombe has been incredible for us since he joined on loan and he proved his worth by taking 10 wickets.
"We've got two games left and we want to finish on good notes."
Essex head coach Paul Grayson told BBC Essex:
"I'm just pleased none of our or their batsman have come away with broken bones to be honest.
"It's one of the worst Championship wickets I've seen for a long time.
"Nobody wants to see a pitch report, but it was a poor four-day wicket.
"Whatever you say about the surface, we haven't been quite good enough this match, their skill levels were probably a bit better than ours.
"They got 40 too many in the first innings and that's probably why they've won the game."