County Championship: Northants seal innings win over Kent

Muhammad Azharullah
Azharullah took five wickets and scored a maiden half century for Northants during the game
LV= County Championship Division Two, Spitfire Ground St Lawrence
Kent 167 & 208: Billings 43, Sanderson 4-44, Azharullah 3-68
Northants 398: Duckett 145, Azharullah 58no, Tredwell 3-59
Kent 3 pts, Northants 23 pts
Northants won by an innings and 23 runs
Match scorecard

Northants sealed a seasonal double over Kent by wrapping up a three-day win at Canterbury by an innings and 23 runs.

The home side, who trailed by 231 on first innings, were bowled out for 208.

It was their seventh defeat of a disappointing campaign, while the visitors' third victory lifted them to fourth in the Division Two table.

Sam Billings top-scored with 43 before he was caught behind off paceman Ben Sanderson, who took 4-44 in only his second Championship game for Northants.

Analysis
"This was another humiliating long format defeat for Kent who just can't seem transfer their one-day form to the County Championship. Batting collapses in both innings from batsmen who have been scoring for fun in the one-day game handed an innings victory to Northants, who made far better use of the ball."

Resuming on 81-1, Kent needed at least a couple of batsmen to play major innings, but soon lost Joe Denly (33) and Sam Northeeast to Azharullah (3-68).

Rob Key batted for more than three and a half hours for 42 before he was caught off Sanderson from a mis-hit pull shot shortly before lunch, which Kent reached on 150-5.

Olly Stone removed Darren Stevens and Calum Haggett with successive deliveries in the second over after the resumption, and Maurice Chambers eventually ended the game by bowling last man Matt Hunn.

Kent skipper Sam Northeast:

"I thought Northamptonshire bowled really well on this pitch. There wasn't much in it for our lads, but they got out of it what they could.

"A couple of us made starts in this match but nobody went on to play a match-defining knock. We all have to stick our hands up and say that wasn't good enough.

"We have four games to go in this competition now. We need to look at our practice and how we're going about things because there's no denying that we're very inconsistent."

Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely:

"I've just said in our team meeting that I believe that to be the best collective bowling performance that I've ever witnessed by a Northants team.

"We barely bowled a bad ball throughout and really made life tough for a Kent batting line-up that is chock-full of experienced players.

"Stone and Azharullah were magnificent and Ben Sanderson has again proved a real asset. We've also given ourselves a valuable day off ahead of our T20 quarter final."

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