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Clarke and Mitchell stun Kent with 399 run-chase

Worcestershire 336 (Clarke 142, Leach 57*) and 401 for 6 (Mitchell 142, Clarke 110*) beat Kent 260 (Coles 47) and 474 (Denly 227, Rouse 68) by four wickets
Scorecard

Joe Clarke sealed back-to-back centuries as he and Daryl Mitchell powered Worcestershire to the victory that lifts them into the Specsavers County Championship Division Two promotion places as they overcame Kent by four wickets at New Road.

Mitchell scored his fourth century in the last five Championship matches as Worcestershire galloped to their 399 target and achieved the third-highest run-chase in their history with 19.1 overs to spare.

Mitchell, the former captain, is enjoying a purple patch as he followed his 120 against Derbyshire, 161 against Northamptonshire and 121 against Sussex with another superb contribution.

He employed the cut shot to deadly effect and was seldom troubled in helping Worcestershire to chalk up their fifth win in seven Championship games this season.

He was given excellent support by Moeen Ali and then Clarke who, in this game, has recaptured his form with a vengeance in scoring two centuries in a Championship match for the first time in his blossoming career.

It was just the tonic the home side needed after the acrimonious departure of Tom Kohler-Cadmore to Yorkshire, two successive Championship defeats and a Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final setback.

The game was another excellent advert for Championship cricket and see-sawed both ways before Mitchell and his team-mates tipped the balance in Worcestershire's favour after largely negating the threat of Pakistan wrist spinner Yasir Shah.

It was Shah who finally sent Mitchell on his way for 142 from 243 balls with 20 boundaries after a stand of 175 in 38.2 overs with Clarke.

He departed to a standing ovation all around New Road after another invaluable knock, before Clarke ensured victory with 110 not out.

Worcestershire had resumed on 16 for 0 and openers Brett D'Oliveira and Mitchell extended their partnership to 52 before D'Oliveira on 27 was bowled by a fine delivery from Darren Stevens which nipped back.

The occasional ball misbehaved off a length from the Diglish End but Mitchell and Moeen were able to score freely during a stand of 112 in 22 overs.

An under-hit pull had led to Moeen's downfall in the first innings but he profited from the stroke in reaching his half-century off 47 balls.

The pair looked so much in control that it was a surprise when Moeen (63) aimed to work Shah on the leg side and was lbw to the last ball before lunch.

Clarke then joined forces with Mitchell and maintained the required tempo throughout the afternoon session.

The England Lions player had gone into this game without a Championship half-century to his name this season but all his rich promise and potential returned with a vengeance.

After Mitchell's departure, there was a slight concern for the home side as Shah struck twice more in dismissing George Rhodes and Ben Cox, both for 2.

But Clarke kept his nerve, passing three figures off 115 balls with 14 fours and a six, and some typically aggressive shots from Ross Whiteley - including two sixes - effectively sealed the win before he became Shah's fifth victim with two runs needed.