County Championship: Promotion-chasing Kent seal win over Middlesex
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord's (day three):|
|Middlesex 161 & 186: Robson 36, Malan 32; Henry 4-40, Stevens 3-46|
|Kent 192 & 157-7: Kuhn 39, Dickson 32; Fuller 3-53|
|Kent (19 pts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by three wickets|
Kent boosted their hopes of promotion from Division Two and ended those of Middlesex by completing a three-wicket win on the third morning at Lord's.
Chasing a target of 156, they had ended day two just 52 runs short on 104-4.
James Fuller (3-53) and Ethan Bamber (2-34) shared three wickets between them, including Heino Kuhn for 39.
But a lucky inside edge for four by Sam Billings off Fuller ended the game by taking the total to 157-7 and left the Kent captain unbeaten on 31.
The 19 points earned by the visitors took them to the top of the table for a few hours, until they were leapfrogged by Warwickshire after their win at Leicester.
Middlesex are now unable to catch either side after their fourth defeat of the season - leaving Kent, Warwickshire and Sussex to contest the two promotion spots.
Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser:
"It was another fast-forward game, which we seem to have played a lot of at Lord's this year.
"The disappointment is that the defeat ends the chance of us getting promoted this year and that was our principle goal at the start of the season.
"We made mistakes and struggled again to get the sort of scores on the board that are going to dominate matches.
"We fought right to the end and showed a lot of character, but in low-scoring tight affairs like this you're never going to win them all."
Kent skipper Sam Billings:
"I woke up very early this morning, about 6am, with this match going through my head so it's great to get over the win line in what was ultimately a very close game.
"The partnership between Grant Stewart and Darren Stevens in our first innings really was the only difference between these two sides, and if we'd been chasing another 30 runs it could have been a different story.
"If I'm totally honest, we know this division is going down to the wire. We play Glamorgan and then Warwickshire in the last game, but all our focus is completely on Glamorgan at Canterbury next week and trying to get a result there.
"We can't do anything about other teams, neither can we afford to take our eye off the ball in a three-horse race. We want to be in positions like this, now it's a matter of getting over the finish line."