Kent victory dents Worcestershire promotion hopes

Kent 451 (Stevens 81, Gidman 75*) and 14 for 0 beat Worcestershire 211 and 251 (Rhodes 55, Stevens 3-31) by 10 wickets

Kent dented Worcestershire's promotion tilt by mopping up the visitors last four wickets in barely an hour and knocking off the 12 runs required to clinch a 10-wicket win in their Specsavers County Championship match.

The marquees - bursting and busy for the first three days of the 165th Canterbury Cricket Week encounter - stood empty and silent, all bar the CAMRA real ale tent where a gaggle of happy and hardy Kentish supporters applauded their side's deserved victory, wrapped up with more than two sessions to spare.

Having dismissed Daryl Mitchell's side for 251 second-time around, Kent openers Sean Dickson and Daniel Bell-Drummond needed only six minutes to knock off the runs to inflict a second defeat of the summer upon Worcestershire.

Resuming on their parlous overnight score of 213 for 6 - an overall match deficit of 27 runs - the Midlanders were soon even deeper in trouble.

Kent started making inroads as early as the 15th ball of the day when Matt Coles, having just taken the second new ball, struck with his fifth ball of the day.

Pushing defensively at one just outside off stump, Ben Cox (39) found a thick outside edge for James Tredwell to claim a comfortable catch at second slip with the visitors still 20 runs in arrears.

Without addition to the total Joe Leach (3) sparred at one from Darren Stevens to nick behind and give Sam Billings his eighth catch of the match.

Stevens struck again with Worcestershire still six runs in arrears. Having played and missed at one that clipped his front pad, Kyle Abbott lifted his back foot during a half-hearted lbw appeal allowing Sam Billings to whip off the bails for a gift stumping. Billings became the tenth Kent keeper to claim nine dismissals in a match.

Ed Barnard struck out lustily to move his side into an 11-run lead before his sliced drive against Stevens flew to Will Gidman at short third man to end the Worcestershire innings soon after noon. Stevens finished with 3 for 31, while Gidman and Tredwell bagged two apiece as Kent banked 23 points for their third win of the summer. Worcestershire went home with only four points.

Having enjoyed runs and wickets on his home championship debut for Kent, Gidman, the on-loan Nottinghamshire allrounder said: "To get those two second-innings wickets with a slightly older ball and just as Worcestershire were forming a decent partnership was really pleasing. On the whole I'm delighted with the way the bowling has gone since coming here.

"I got slightly lucky with the first wicket. The lad George Rhodes was playing really well, but he started batting way out of his crease and, when I bowled him a really full one, he ended up yorking himself. Then, against Daryl Mitchell, that was one that moved back up the him and hit him full in front.

"I'd have loved to have scored a hundred, but batting at No8 it's the last thing you're really expecting. I'm more thankful that 'Tredders', 'Colesy' and Mitch hung around as long as they did and, in the context of the match, formed some vital partnerships with me."

Worcestershire's head coach said the defeat was simply a blip in an otherwise excellent season for his side. "Kent played really well and the fact that we were a little under par was mainly due to the fact that Kent played some really good stuff over the four days. On this performance they're becoming a very good side.

"Brett D'Oliveira will come back in but it won't be a case of wholesale changes just because we've lost one match. Sport is all about winning and losing and I don;t know many teams who just keep winning all of the time. Sometimes these lads deserve another chance to get themselves into some better form and we've played plenty of good cricket already this season to know that we're capable of producing better than this."