Jones marathon denies Somerset
Kent 172 and 191 for 7 drew with Somerset 205 and 301 for 7
Geraint Jones defied Somerset's bowlers for nearly three hours on a turning pitch to lead Kent to a draw at Taunton. The wicketkeeper walked out at 2.40pm with his side 67 for 1 chasing an improbable 335 to win and was out just moments before the end for a gutsy 47 as Kent closed on 191 for 7.
Murali Kartik claimed 5 for 57 for match figures of 10 for 107, bowling 31 overs unchanged from the River End. When the total was 134 for 5 with 20 overs still remaining Somerset had a chance. In the end their skipper Marcus Trescothick might have regretted erring on the side of safety as he delayed his declaration until 25 minutes before lunch, by which time his team had progressed from an overnight 122 for 2 to 301 for 7.
Somerset took seven points to Kent's six from a game in which 158 overs were lost to rain over the four days. Trescothick led from the front at the start of the final day. Unbeaten on 59 overnight, he progressed to 80, with eight fours and three sixes, before driving a catch to extra cover off Amjad Khan.
Alfonso Thomas (30), Zander de Bruyn (43) and James Hildreth (48) all made breezy contributions, but it was a surprise when Trescothick opted to continue the innings once a 300 lead had been established.
Kent had to face only four overs before lunch, which was taken at 12 without loss. Openers Joe Denly and Sam Northeast extended their partnership to 67 in the afternoon session before Thomas held a sharp caught and bowled chance offered by Denly on 36.
Kartik was expected to prove Somerset's most potent weapon following his five first-innings victims and he had Northeast caught by Arul Suppiah at square-leg off a leading edge for 40. Kent captain Martin van Jaarsveld then miscued a pull shot off Charl Willoughby and was well caught by Jos Buttler at deepish mid-wicket to make it 94 for 3.
Alex Blake was lbw playing no shot to a ball from Kartik that turned from outside his off stump and Darren Stevens fell to a juggling catch by Trescothick at slip off the same bowler. There were only 23 balls left when James Tredwell became another Kartik victim, but still the obdurate Jones held firm.
By the time he fell lbw to Kartik in the penultimate over he had faced 150 balls, hitting just three boundaries. It was a fine effort of concentration in bowler-friendly conditions. It was not such a happy afternoon for Somerset's wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, who dropped Blake amid an untidy display behind the stumps.