- ECB Reporters Network
Kent 207 & 159-7 trail Essex 569 by 203 runs
Only Kent captain Sam Northeast stood firm to hold up Essex’s surge for a Specsavers County Championship win inside three days against their closest rivals at the top of Division Two.
Chasing 362 to avoid an innings defeat, Northeast came in just before lunch and was still there at tea 71 not out. But he lost five partners during an afternoon of attrition which ended with Kent still 203 runs short of making Essex bat again.
Jamie Porter claimed his 100th first-class wicket when he dismissed Fabian Cowdrey before lunch. He had No. 101 with his second ball of the afternoon session when Joe Denly was trapped lbw to one that nipped back.
Northeast steadied the innings, but he had a let-off on 30 when Nick Browne spilled an in-and-out chance at third slip off Matt Quinn. He had helped put on 57 for the fourth wicket before Bopara found some late movement to bowl Darren Stevens for 25.
Next over Alex Blake, who had only added two to his first-innings 89 not out, scooped the ball to cover where Bopara took it low down.
Northeast reached his fifty off 85 balls with a square-cut to the boundary off Porter, and added a ninth four next ball through midwicket. But he lost Adam Ball lbw to Bopara for eight and Callum Jackson, lofting into Quinn’s hands at mid-on.
- ECB Reporters Network
Durham 306-5 v Hampshire
Keaton Jennings' vigil ended on 129 as Durham lost three wickets this afternoon to reach tea on 306 for five, trailing Hampshire by 166 runs.
After batting for four sessions to make 221 not out in the second innings of Durham's last match, against Yorkshire, Jennings survived for 344 minutes.
He fell in the third over of the new ball, pushing forward and edging Gareth Berg to Jimmy Adams at second slip. But Hampshire's hopes of further inroads were not helped by Ryan McLaren pulling up in the next over and being escorted off by the physio.
Watched by national selector James Whitaker, Ben Stokes made a run-a-ball half-century as he got the better of an entertaining joust with Tino Best.
After coming into the match without a recognised spinner, Will Smith gambled by bringing himself on and in his second over bowled Stokes off his pads.
The England man was looking to force him away through mid-wicket off the back foot and departed with an angry swipe at the turf.
Jennings and Jack Burnham took their stand to 158 before the 20-year-old right-hander chipped McLaren to mid-on to fall for 74.
McLaren beat Stokes on six but a cracking drive sent the next ball to the extra cover boundary.
Best almost snared him at deep backward square on 13, but when he continued to bowl short he was smacked for three fours in four balls. The West Indian then bowled a fuller length and commanded respect.
He was driven wide of mid-off by Jennings for the two runs which took the opener to his fifth hundred of the season off 201 balls.