Hampshire v Kent: James Vince fights back after run spree
|LV= County Championship Division Two, Ageas Bowl|
|Close, day two: Kent 507 v Hampshire 127-3|
|Kent 4pts; Hampshire 1pt|
James Vince's half century led the Hampshire fightback against Kent on day two in Southampton.
The visitors resumed on 312-3 and lost three early wickets, including centurions Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Northeast, before Sam Billings (92) stretched Kent's total.
They were eventually bowled out for 507 as Matt Coles finished with 4-84.
Jimmy Adams and Will Smith fell cheaply before Vince (64 not out) saw Hampshire to 127-3, trailing by 380 runs.
The promotion-chasing home side again struggled in vain to contain the Kent batsmen in the field as Northeast reached 128 before being bowled by Coles and Bell-Drummond followed for 153, lbw to leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Billings was on course for his first Championship century of the summer after hitting nine fours, but the 23-year-old fell just short when he was caught off Will Smith.
The home side's fatigue seemed evident as they began their reply and they could not afford to have captain Adams run out for 26 by James Tredwell.
However, Vince, who was the first player to pass 1,000 first-class run this season, met the situation with positive strokes as he collected 10 boundaries before the close.
Hampshire seam bowler Matt Coles:
"We are playing catch-up, but we have wickets in hand. It is a good wicket to bat on and hopefully we can cash in.
"With Essex picking up the points, the promotion issue is going to go down to the last round of matches next week, so it is very exciting."
Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings:
"We have batted ourselves into a very decent position. It is a decent deck, but it has started spinning.
"Dan and Sam set it up for the later batsmen with their huge partnership and gave opportunities for players like myself to play with freedom.
"I was disappointed not to make a century. There was plenty of time in retrospect and to hole out eight runs short was annoying in the extreme."
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James:
"This game has not gone to plan so far for Hampshire as they look to give themselves enough of a points cushion over Essex going into next week's final round of matches.
"The wicket is flat and Hampshire were kept out in the field for 149.4 overs, the longest of the season for them.
"Much will depend on James Vince as Hampshire look to at least get past the follow-on figure of 358."
BBC Radio Kent's Peter Guise:
"Kent enjoyed the better of things for the second day running and may yet achieve a victory in a match most might see as heading for a draw.
"Having racked up their highest first innings total of the season, a total that included a career best 153 for Bell-Drummond and another century for Northeast, those two sharing a record 4th wicket partnership by anyone against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, they then had Hampshire's promotion nerves jangling when they sent three back to the pavilion before the close.