Kent v Somerset ends in a draw


Somerset and Kent had to settle for a draw as this Vitality County Championship Division One encounter at the Spitfire Ground ended in stalemate.

A result was always going to be difficult after rain and bad light robbed the teams of more than a day of play and so it proved as Somerset claimed 15 points and Kent 12.

Somerset’s bowlers gave their side hope when the hosts were reduced to 68 for three just after lunch, with the deficit still 51. However, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly guided Kent to safety with a fourth-wicket stand of 222.

The pair both hit centuries to alleviate the jitters that arose this morning at 10 for two as Kent finally closed on 290 for four declared just before 5pm to induce handshakes all round.

Denly beat his partner to three figures, posting 110 from 142 balls including 11 fours and a six, while Bell-Drummond made 107 from 169, with 14 fours.

Earlier Kasey Aldridge hit 57 before Somerset were bowled out for 403, a lead of 119. Nathan Gilchrist had Kent’s best bowling figures with 64 for three.

The draw was the clear favourite at the start of day four and one “win predictor” app claimed Kent’s chances of winning were precisely zero.

Somerset resumed on 374 for seven and immediately went on the attack. Aldridge, who was on 50 overnight, drove the first ball of the day for four before he was well caught at mid-wicket by Jack Leaning off Gilchrist. Bell-Drummond then ran out Ned Leonard for one, throwing down the stumps from short mid on.

Jake Ball hit his first ball as a Somerset player for a six into the lower Frank Woolley Stand and a third batting point was secured when Josh Davey flicked Wes Agar to third man for a single, but the innings was wrapped up when Ball played on to Gilchrist.

Somerset clearly felt they had a chance as their batters sprinted for the dressing room and the more nervous home supporters were soon worried. Kent had a minimum 87 overs to navigate and both openers had gone in the first five.

Ben Compton went in the fourth, strangled by Ball and Tawanda Muyeye then swatted Davey to Tom Banton at point.

Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning calmed the situation by batting though until lunch, at which point it was 68 for two.

Somerset’s hopes soared again when Leaning perished in the second over of the afternoon, bowled by Lewis Goldsworthy for 32, but Denly joined Bell-Drummond and quickly wiped out the deficit.

Denly was out in the final over when he edged Goldsworthy to Matt Renshaw in the slips, but with any hopes of a win for either side long gone, Kent declared at 4.50pm and the teams shook hands on a draw.