WaLKER HaILS KENT’S RUTHLESSNESS
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.