Spinners deliver Hants fifth win
Hampshire 380 (Ervine 75, Wood 61, Smith 56) and 311 for 5 dec (Adams 97, Carberry 81, Smith 74*) beat Kent 191 (Stevens 64, Wood 5-39) and 304 (Stevens 74, Coles 3-68) by 196 runs
Hampshire's spinners got to work on the final day at Canterbury to land their fifth win of the County Championship campaign and bolster their promotion hopes by sweeping Kent aside by 196 runs at Canterbury.
Danny Briggs and Liam Dawson shared four of the eight wickets Hampshire needed on day four.
Resuming on their gloomy overnight position of 95 for 2 - still a massive 406 runs shy of a very unlikely victory target - Kent lost three wickets in the first session of the final day to leave Hampshire scenting their win by lunch.
Having added only a single to his overnight score Daniel Bell-Drummond, on 44, edged a defensive push through to the keeper against Matt Coles who, in his next over, trapped night watchman Adam Riley lbw on the back foot for 10.
Fabian Cowdrey scored a bright 21 before blotting his copybook with a rash pull shot against Chris Wood that skied to substitute fielder Sean Terry running in from deep square leg.
Darren Stevens lifted home spirits just before lunch by clubbing three sixes off the slow left-arm spin of Liam Dawson to send Kent into the interval on 187 for 5.
Kent's task became tougher soon after lunch following the run out of Sam Northeast for 21. Backing up as Stevens called for a quick single, Northeast was sent back only to be sent packing by Jimmy Adams' direct hit that uprooted middle stump.
Sam Billings should have followed immediately afterwards when, with his score on nought, he advanced down the pitch to Liam Dawson only to find a leading edge that looped to Coles at short mid-off but, inexplicably, the fielder fumbled the simplest of chances. He made amends for the blunder and safely pocketed another top-edge when Stevens miscued an attempted sweep off Dawson to short fine leg.
Stevens scored 74 from 81 balls, including seven fours and four sixes, for his part in a stand of 63 in 14.2 overs in tandem with Billings. The young Kent keeper also fell sweeping, the arm-ball from Danny Briggs taking the shoulder of the bat for James Vince to take a stunning diving catch at short third man.
Mitch Claydon nicked to slip without troubling the scorers and though Doug Bollinger - on his farewell four-day appearance - flung the bat for a lusty, unbeaten 33 it was all over once left-armer James Tomlinson skittled Calum Hagget with Kent on 304 and still 196 shy of the target.
Having seen his side bank 23 points to move back up to second place in the table, Hampshire skipper Adams said: "I'm delighted how we've gone over the four days. It was a decent pitch overall but we needed that great partnership between Chris Wood and Sean Ervine on the first day that dug us out of a hole.
"Then, the way we bowled in their first innings was exceptional and that gave us the platform for a first-innings lead. It was a great effort from everyone. For Chris to come back from injury and perform as well as he has with bat and ball, a fifty followed by career-best bowling figures, was excellent. It was great to have his energy around the group. Overall, it was a great four days."
Kent banked only three points for the comprehensive defeat in this 163rd Canterbury Cricket Week fixture. It was their first defeat in any form of cricket since an away reverse in the NatWest T20 Blast against Essex at Colchester on July 12.