County Championship: Nottinghamshire on brink of relegation after losing to Kent

Kent's Darren Stevens
Darren Stevens is due to leave Kent at the end of the season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day three):
Kent 304 & 259: Billings 100, Crawley 82; Ashwin 5-89
Notts 124 & 212: Ashwin 55; Stevens 5-53
Kent (22 pts) beat Notts (3 pts) by 227 runs

Kent pushed Nottinghamshire to the brink of relegation from Division One by wrapping up a 227-run victory with a day to spare at Trent Bridge.

Set a remote target of 440, the home side were bowled out for 212 and have still not won a game this season.

Steven Mullaney and Chris Nash fell to Darren Stevens in the same over, both of them offering no stroke.

Ravichandran Ashwin made 55 but Stevens claimed 5-53 to take 10 wickets in a game for only the second time.

It was Nottinghamshire's ninth defeat of the season and they only took three points from the game, meaning Warwickshire could send them down on Friday if they achieve a draw against Essex.

Resuming on 236-8, Kent added a further 23 to their total before India spinner Ashwin took the last two wickets to finish with 5-89 and match figures of 9-210.

But after losing Mullaney and Nash in the sixth over, Notts went into lunch on 91-5 after Matt Milnes (2-55) yorked Jake Libby with the final delivery of the morning session.

Ashwin and Paul Coughlin held up Kent as they added 75 for the seventh wicket before both departed in quick succession.

Coughlin edged Stevens to the keeper and Ashwin was caught off Ollie Rayner (2-25) as the last four wickets went down for 29 runs.

Fittingly, it was Stevens who finished things off by having Jake Ball caught behind to complete his second 'five-for' of the game, including his 500th wicket for the county, giving him 10-92 overall.

Notts captain Steven Mullaney said:

"(The defeat is) embarrassing, hurtful - basically we are relegated now and it's not a nice feeling. I've been here before and it doesn't get any easier.

"But the way the whole season has gone has been well below what we expect of everybody, myself included. We've still got a bit of pride left to play for but that is pretty much it.

"There are not many any excuses, we've not scored enough runs, collectively or individually and not built any partnerships for a long time. It's just not acceptable. I'm embarrassed, everyone's embarrassed."

Kent Head Coach Matt Walker said:

"I'm really pleased. After our disappointment against Essex last match, where we crumbled in a heap. To come here against a fighting Notts side, who had to win, from ball one we've played some fine cricket.

"I'm really pleased, we wanted to finish the season off well. We had set our sights on three wins from the final three games, so one from one and I'm pleased with the team performance."

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