Rain hinders Kent's advance
Kent 438 for 8 (Key 119, Northeast 140, Tomlinson 4-79) lead Hampshire 292 by 146 runs
Kent maintained a firm grip at the end of the third day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match with Hampshire at West End after rapid innings from Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens.
But only 34 overs were possible because of heavy showers during which Kent extended their first-innings lead to 146 with two wickets left and a day remaining. With 80 minutes at the start of play lost to the weather, Kent were in a hurry and Jones and Stevens provided the momentum.
Kent, who started the match only five points behind Hampshire in second place, began the third day 291 for 5 in response to Hampshire's first innings total of 292 all out. Nightwatchman Mark Davies and Stevens took the score to 324 before they were parted, Davies miscuing a pull off James Tomlinson to Dimitri Mascarenhas at mid-on after making 17.
Jones and Stevens came together at this stage to compile a stand of 61 for the seventh wicket as the easy-paced batting strip showed no signs of offering help to the Hampshire bowlers. Sean Ervine made the breakthrough at 385 just as Hampshire began to despair, bowling Jones for 36 as the Kent batsman attempted to drive.
But Stevens remained in place until 409 and a full complement of batting points assured before he drove Ervine to James Tomlinson who clutched the catch. This brought Kent captain James Tredwell and Matthew Coles together and before rain intruded a third time, their ninth wicket partnership had gleaned a further 29 runs.
Kent ended the day at 438 for 8 with Tredwell 21 not out and Coles unbeaten with 19 which included two sixes in the same over from Danny Briggs. Ervine's tenacity earned him close of play figures of 3 for 95 and Tomlinson has so far taken 4 for 79 with both sides needing to find a route to a positive result.