Kent v Hampshire, Tunbridge Wells, 4th day June 9, 2012

Harmison jeered in Kent chase

Mark Pennell at Tunbridge Wells

Hampshire 303 for 8 dec (Dawson 134*) and forfeit drew with Kent forfeit and 220 for 6 (Northeast 79)

There was a sense of déjà vu amongst Kent supporters at Tunbridge Wells after watching their side's last day run-chase against Hampshire run out of steam in near identical circumstances to last month's pursuit in Canterbury against Northamptonshire.

When the teams shook hands on a draw at 6pm, Kent had laboured to reach 220 for 6 and were a weighty 84 runs of their target, having agreed to chase 304 off a minimum of 70 overs.

Having made a decent enough start through openers Rob Key and Sam Northeast, Kent's attempts to keep up with an asking rate of 4.34 an over were quickly derailed after lunch. Both batsmen struggled to hit Hampshire's wily allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas off the square, let alone to the boundary, and by the time Key went leg before to Kadir Ali, the asking rate was already approaching 5.5 an over.

Northeast, only recently restored to the side after Kent ended the loan stay of Middlesex opener Scott Newman, manfully tried to work the ball around in posting a 94-ball 50, but at the other end Ben Harmison was struggling to find form.

Harmison, the winter recruit from Chester-le-Street, was branded the villain of the piece at St Lawrence in May when Kent also fell well short against Andrew Hall's Northamptonshire, and once more, the likeable lad from Durham had to endure the scorn of Kent supporters.

It might have been fairer to Harmison had Kent promoted the likes of Geraint Jones, Darren Stevens or Matt Coles at the fall of Key's wicket. Instead, they sent in Harmison, a player fighting to retain his place in the side and a batsman out of sorts. Little wonder then that the asking rate soon rocketed to 6.2 an over.

After hanging around for 32 balls for his 11 runs, Harmison - in a sad moment of sacrifice - clipped one straight to mid-wicket and trooped off to contemplate a probable appearance in the Kent second string.

Too late perhaps, Kent sent in Stevens, but he perished for a cameo 28 when caught on the cover boundary, then Coles was also pushed up the order to bludgeon only to miscue his way to 18 from 27 balls before he too holed out to cover.

Once Northeast perished to a low catch at cover, Kent's last chance of success rested on the shoulders of overseas batter Brendan Nash. For a moment the former West Indies Test player appeared capable of pulling off the impossible but, with his score on 18, he leant back to cut against Kabir Ali to see Carberry pull off his third excellent catch.

One-time Glamorgan stalwart Michael Powell then teamed up with honorary Welshman Jones to play out time for the draw with Kent taking five points to Hampshire's six.

The run-chase followed Hampshire's declaration half-an-hour before lunch on 303 for 8 and with Liam Dawson still unbeaten on 134. That sparked a double forfeiture and hopes for a thrilling finale to the match but sadly, it all proved to be something of a false dawn.