Gloucestershire v Kent, Cheltenham, 4th day July 13, 2013

Nash battles heat to lead Kent home

Kent 389 for 5 dec. (Harmison 101*) and 411 for 8 (Nash 199*, Miles 4-72) beat Gloucestershire 562 for 5 dec. (A Gidman 211, Dent 153, Marshall 106) and 237 for 1 dec. (Klinger 102) by two wickets

Brendan Nash retired ill on 199 as Kent secured their first four-day win of the season after an enthralling final-day at Cheltenham. Requiring 411 for victory from 96 overs, Kent won with two wickets and 14 balls remaining thanks largely to the brilliance of Nash, who had to retire through exhaustion with 21 still needed to win.

Nash, the Australia-born former West Indies batsman, struck 26 fours and a six in his 230-ball innings and was only eight short of his career best, made for Jamaica against Trinidad & Tobago, when he retired after batting for five hours on the hottest day of the year.

The game was finely balanced for most of the day, but Nash and skipper James Tredwell swung it Kent's way with an eighth-wicket stand of 58. Teenage paceman Craig Miles was the most successful of Gloucestershire's attack with 4 for 68, while there were two wickets apiece for Will Gidman and Benny Howell.

Gloucestershire's bid for a third County Championship win of the season got off to a great start when Will Gidman had Sam Northeast caught in the gully by Michael Klinger from the second ball of the day. But Rob Key took successive boundaries from James Fuller's first over to emphasise that this pitch was still very much a batsman's paradise, on which 1,188 runs had been scored in the first three days for the loss of just 11 wickets.

It became 48 for 2 when Daniel Bell-Drummond was bowled by Miles, but Nash was quickly into his stride and he took four boundaries from one over from Miles, with two struck through midwicket, one driven through extra cover and the other cut to third man.

Play was held up for nearly 10 minutes after the batsmen complained that the sun was glinting off scaffolding above the sightscreen at the Chapel End - a problem that was solved by groundstaff putting a big cover over it.

Kent reached 110 for 2 at lunch and Nash brought up his 52-ball half-century in the second over after the interval with a cover-driven boundary off Will Gidman. Key put on 85 for the third wicket with Nash, but he then flicked at a ball from Miles and fell to a tumbling leg-side catch by wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick for 42.

Nash found another good partner in Ben Harmison, who had contributed 23 to a partnership of 64 when he was caught behind attempting to cut a Howell delivery.

Two overs later, Nash reached his third century of the season with the most fortuitous shot of his innings, a thin inside edge off Fuller that just evaded Roderick behind the stumps and raced to the boundary. His hundred came off 119 balls and included 16 fours and a six, driven over midwicket off Tom Smith's left-arm spin.

Kent took tea on 247 for 4, which left them requiring 164 from the final 39 overs, and they stayed firmly in the hunt thanks to a rapid stand of 75 between Nash and Darren Stevens. Miles returned at the College Lawn End to have Stevens taken at slip by Alex Gidman, but Nash remained largely untroubled on his way to bringing up his 150 from 159 balls.

Geraint Jones added 55 for the sixth wicket with Nash before an attempted cut at Will Gidman only resulted in a third victim of the innings for Roderick. He soon had a fourth as Vernon Philander edged Howell to depart for 2 and leave Kent 332 for 7.

Tredwell and Nash saw off the threat of the second new ball and had taken Kent to within sight of the finishing line when Nash went off through exhaustion. Miles bowled Tredwell with no addition to the total, but Charlie Shreck, with three boundaries, and Calum Haggett completed a dramatic win for the visitors.

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  • ian on July 14, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    njr1330: clearly you've never suffered from heat-exhaustion & it's self-evident that you are not possessed of any medical knowledge, let alone expertise! You are also a little short on empathy, if you don't mind my saying so! Well done Brendon Nash - a totally heroic performance!

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Charlie Shreck 3 boundaries ? That's probably a first !

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    I didn't watch the game but from what I read, Nash is a great hero batting until he literally collapsed. And well done Kent on your first win of the season. A bit more consistency and we can win a few more. Rob Key has an annoying habit of getting out once set. Glad to see Harmison coming good at last. Come on lads!

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I was there for every day of the match-it was hot enough just watching it and I had to seek the shade of the Golden Hart marquee yesterday. Brendan Nash just keeled over on the pitch after completing a run and had lengthy treatment on the pitch before going off. He did not look as if he was fit enough to come back and when Tredwell was out the last pair were at the wicket. Kent went on to win but what would have happened if the ninth wicket had fallen on the last ball and Kent ere still short of the total?

  • Bill on July 13, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Hmmmm . When one passes out distraught with heat stroke and exhaustion, it's highly unlikely that the addition of 1 extra run for a double ton, or even hitting the winning runs is at the forefront of one's mind. A fabulous innings which could have unfortunately changed the fortunes of the Gloucester boys.

  • Sarah on July 13, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    How ill must he have felt going off on 199? That says to me he had already given everything he had. Professional players like Nashy a) don't give up at the drop of a hat and b) pass up the opportunity of a double century when they are just one run away unless they have no choice. Sounds like a heroic performance to me and so pleased it wasn't in vain and the players behind him were able to see out the victory. Imagine he'll be cheered onto the pitch at Canterbury next week. Bloody well done, him!

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    He actually collapsed on the pitch and had to be helped off the field and although, I heard that the radio commentary had said he would bat again, he certainly didn't look as if he was in any fit state to resume his innings. Play was held up for around 10 minutes whilst the medics and others tried to help him. It had been a truly wonderful innings and it was a great shame he wasn't there at the end to receive the proper appreciation of the crowd.

  • Nicholas on July 13, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Now I'm not a medical expert and I'm not Brendan Nash; but it does seem to me to be a mite strange that somebody goes off, with theirself on 199 and the team in sight of victory, but not quite there. Surely enough energy could be found for 1 more run?!

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