Nash heroics help end long winless sequence
James Tredwell admitted to relief after an incredible innings from Brendan Nash helped Kent claim their first LV= County Championship Division 2 win of the season at the ninth attempt.
Nash retired ill with Kent just 21 runs short of their manufactured victory target of 411 against Gloucestershire after batting for five hours at Cheltenham to amass an amazing 199.
Exhaustion finally saw Nash’s innings end just eight runs short of his career best score after 26 fours and a six in a 230-ball stay.
However, the victory saw Kent move off the foot of the table and avoid recording their worst ever start to a season.
Tredwell said: “It’s been a tough start and to get over the line in a game like that is a good way to do it. We had to drive home pretty quick and get ready for the next game afterwards – if we’re honest, we would have liked to have savoured it a bit more.
“There was a bit of relief. For eight games before that we’ve turned up hoping to win but it hadn’t quite happened for us.
“We’ve played some decent cricket at times. We’ve got to put it together for four days to consistently get the better of teams. I’m sure that will come.”
Tredwell’s team began the final day needing 411 after a first innings declaration in response to the hosts’ 562-5 declared first time around.
Kent lost opener Sam Northeast and Daniel Bell-Drummond early to bring Nash to the crease at 48-2 and after a stand of 85 between Nash and Rob Key, the opener departed for 42.
Ben Harmison went for 23 but Nash breezed to his third century of the season as Kent reached tea on 247-4. Darren Stevens added a rapid 30 but went on 2705, while Geraint Jones (23) was dismissed with Kent still 86 runs short of victory.
Vernon Philander departed for just two and it needed the calm influence of captain Tredwell (26) to help put Kent back on track against the second new ball.
After lengthy treatment, Nash went off with Kent 390-7 and though Tredwell departed just two balls later, Calum Haggett and Charlie Shreck saw Kent home.
Victory had seemed a long way off when Gloucestershire had reached 348-3 on the opening day. Haggett struck twice to make it 74-2 but Chris Dent (153), Alex Gidman (211) and Hamish Marshall (106) guided the hosts to a declaration.
In reply, Kent slipped to 212-4 but Northeast (94), Harmison’s unbeaten 101 and 75 from Stevens enabled captain Tredwell to declare on 389-5. His opposite number, Michael Klinger, agreed not to enforce the follow-on and instead helped himself to an unbeaten century from some generous bowling late on day three.
The hosts declared on 237-1 in just 41 overs to set Kent’s target for victory.
TEXTBOOK DEFENCE: Geraint Jones plays forward during his 21 not out in Kent’s first innings against Gloucestershire