WaLKER HaILS KENT’S RUTHLESSNESS

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

Matt Walker hailed Kent’s ruth­less streak af­ter they romped to their third Spec­savers County Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion 2 win on the spin af­ter over­com­ing Der­byshire by 169 runs in­side three days.

Kent set the vis­i­tors an im­prob­a­ble tar­get of 409 for vic­tory on the third af­ter­noon.

But, to the de­light of head coach Walker, Kent needed less than two ses­sions to claim the fi­nal 10 wick­ets with four overs re­main­ing of the penultimate day to claim 21 points and keep pace with lead­ers Not­ting­hamshire.

On-loan James Har­ris took 4-56 while Darren Stevens con­tin­ued his su­perb start to the sea­son with three sec­ondin­nings scalps to add to his six in the first in­nings and take him to 22 for the sea­son so far.

Walker – un­beaten since tak­ing over from Jimmy Adams in Jan­uary – said: “We tar­geted at the turn of the year that we needed to start the sea­son bet­ter as we haven’t done that in the past five or six years, so to get three from three is great.

“This was a dif­fer­ent type of game to the pre­vi­ous two, a sport­ing wicket and we didn’t have this one all our own way but we’ve bat­tled through it and come out with more good points in the bank.

“We wanted to im­prove our re­silience and ruthlessness as a team and I’m not sure that last year we would have fronted up as well as we have in this type of game.

“We were up against it on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions over the three days and some­how, some­where, peo­ple stood up and were counted.

“When we get a grip on the game, cer­tainly with the ball, we tend to not let go – and that’s what im­pressed me the most.”

Kent went from 83-0 to 88-4 in their first in­nings be­fore to­talling 259. Sean Dick­son and Wayne Par­nell both made 41 with Daniel Bell-Drum­mond hit­ting 38.

Stevens made the most of Satur­day’s con­di­tions to col­lect 6-47 as Der­byshire were out for 159 (Wayne Mad­sen 56) in re­ply and he then hit 90 as Kent re­cov­ered from 80-6 to to­tal 308 in their sec­ond in­nings.

Stevens shared a sev­en­th­wicket stand of 90 with Rouse, who went onto make a ca­reer best 95 not out, adding 83 for the ninth wicket with James Har­ris (32).

It all left the vis­i­tors need­ing a record 409 to win but they quickly slipped to 78-5 and al­though Gary Wil­son (97) stood firm, the vis­i­tors were dis­missed in­side 62 overs for 239.

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