van Buuren and Noema-Barnett forge rearguard to deny Kent

Graeme van Buuren defied Kent twice in the match Getty Images

Kent 582 for 9 dec (Dickson 117, Denly 107, Stevens 89, Rouse 55, Podmore 53, Miles 4-122) drew with Gloucestershire 240 (van Buuren 83, Noema-Barnett 73, Henry 6-58) and 322 for 7 (Dent 76, Howell 67, van Buuren 59)

Graeme van Buuren and Kieran Noema-Barnett staged a gritty rearguard action to thwart Kent's quest for a fourth straight Specsavers County Championship win and salvage a draw for Gloucestershire on the final day of the match at Bristol.

Teetering on 219 for 6 after following-on and forced to contend with the new ball, Gloucestershire were between a rock and a hard place going into the final session.

But just as they did when posting a stand of 104 in the first innings, the seventh-wicket pair served up defiance aplenty in a partnership that was worth exactly 100 when van Buuren fell to Daniel Bell-Drummond in the early-evening gloom.

Noema-Barnett (42 not out) and Craig Miles (2 not out) saw it through to the end and the home side were 322 for 7 in their second innings when the players finally shook hands, leaving Kent with 12 points and Gloucestershire seven.

Resuming on 73 without loss, still 269 behind, and charged with the task of batting throughout the day, Gloucestershire initially made a decent fist of things, openers Benny Howell and Chris Dent seeing off Matt Henry and staging a restorative stand of 114 in 40 overs.

Howell's 128-ball resistance ended when a full-length delivery from Harry Podmore kept low and pinned him lbw for 76. New batsman Gareth Roderick departed soon afterwards, bagging a pair after being squared up by a ball from Ivan Thomas that kept low.

But even then, Gloucestershire had no call to panic as Dent, who went to 50 from 141 balls, mustered stubborn resistance in an innings spanning four hours and 15 minutes.

Injured on the third day and only declared fit to continue after a morning net, Podmore struck again after lunch to remove Dent with the score on 182 and initiate a slide which altered the entire complexion of the match.

Suddenly under pressure, the home side suffered a mini-collapse, four batsmen falling for the addition of 37 runs inside 21 overs.

James Bracey was lbw playing back to Joe Denly, and Kent's captain then extracted turn from the Pavilion End to beat Jack Taylor's defences. Thereafter, Darren Stevens struck with the new ball, Ryan Higgins playing a loose drive and edging to first slip to further increase Gloucestershire's discomfiture. Denly tried everything at his disposal to effect a breakthrough in the final session, deploying spin into the rough from the Pavilion End while rotating his seamers at the other end and using seven bowlers in all. But van Buuren and Noema-Barnett remained obdurate, dealing with whatever was thrown at them to frustrate Kent at every turn.

Demonstrating sound temperament and technique, van Buuren chiselled 59 from 141 balls, while the equally patient Noema-Barnett controlled his aggressive instincts in an innings that spanned 129 deliveries.

Gloucs 3rd innings Partnerships

1st114BAC HowellCDJ Dent
2nd1CDJ DentGH Roderick
3rd67CDJ DentJR Bracey
4th18JMR TaylorJR Bracey
5th7JMR TaylorGL van Buuren
6th12GL van BuurenRF Higgins
7th100K Noema-BarnettGL van Buuren
8th3K Noema-BarnettCN Miles