Coles' six brings Kent victory
Kent 368 (Powell 128) beat Northamptonshire 132 and 116 (Coles 6-51) by an innings and 120 runs
Matt Coles took six wickets as Kent cruised to an innings victory inside three days against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. Coles took career-best figures of 6 for 51 as Northamptonshire capitulated to be bowled out for 116 before lunch in a match the visitors dominated from the start. Kent's victory margin was an innings and 120 runs.
Only three batsmen made it to double figures in Northamptonshire's second innings, with captain David Sales top-scoring with 42 in what was an abject team batting display. Northamptonshire began the day on 50 for 4, 186 runs behind their opponents, with Sales resuming on 31 and Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien on 5. Sales survived an early scare when he wildly missed a drive off Coles and he was relieved to see the ball miss the outside edge of his bat. But he was to perish on 42 when he missed his attempted square cut off the same bowler in the ninth over of the day and his off stump was sent tumbling.
James Middlebrook was next to the crease but he could only make 9 off 39 balls before he departed when he edged Mark Davies to former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones. A second consecutive heavy defeat for Northamptonshire had become inevitable and the sorry procession continued when former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas was trapped lbw for a single. That gave England spinner James Tredwell his first wicket of the match. At one point, the hosts went 27 overs without hitting a boundary before O'Brien clipped one through third man off Coles in the 48th over.
Coles then picked up his fourth wicket when David Willey edged his delivery and was superbly caught by Jones, diving low to his right. He then completed the third five-wicket haul of his first-class career when Jones easily caught Jack Brooks, who faced six balls without scoring.
With nine wickets down, Kent chose to take the extra half-hour that was available to them before lunch. And they wrapped up a comprehensive victory when Jones took his fifth catch of the innings to remove Lee Daggett, who made 15, off the bowling of Coles. O'Brien was left unbeaten on a painfully slow 25 from 115 balls as the home side picked up just two points from the fixture, with dominant Kent coming away with 23.