Kent promotion push gathers pace

Kent 496 (Gidman 99*, Stevens 74, Billings 69, Magoffin 5-88) beat Sussex 180 (Brown 54, Viljoen 3-70) and 189 (Viljoen 3-34) by an innings and 127 runs

Kent kept up the pressure on second division leaders Essex after wrapping up a convincing victory by an innings and 127 runs over Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship. Their first Championship win at Hove since 1992 moved Kent on to 195 points, the same number as Essex - who are pushing for victory themselves against Worcestershire at Chelmsford - had at the start of the round.

Kent will be hoping that Worcestershire's batsmen show more application than Sussex's managed on the third morning as they tamely surrendered eight wickets in 27.5 overs, several of them to questionable shots. Kent seamers Mitch Claydon, Hardus Viljoen and Matt Coles took three wickets each as Sussex suffered their first Championship defeat of the season to end their own slim chance of making a late charge for promotion.

Their hopes of making Kent work for victory depended largely on the experienced Chris Nash and Luke Wells but both fell within 30 minutes of the resumption. Nash got a beauty from Viljoen which pitched and left him off the seam but Wells tried to cut a ball that he should have left alone and gave second slip Coles a head-high catch. He wasn't the only Sussex batsman with poor judgement outside off stump.

None suggested they were in the mood to get their head down thereafter. Coles found some extra bounce to have Fynn Hudson-Prentice caught off the glove and Craig Cachopa gave a catch to wicketkeeper Sam Billings, moving in front of first slip.

Skipper Ben Brown could consider himself unfortunate when he played on to a ball from Darren Stevens that hardly bounced and by then it was only a case of whether Sussex might hold on until rain arrived at lunch time. But their tail offered little resistance. Ollie Robinson guided a ball at least a yard outside off stump from Coles to third man, Danny Briggs was pinned by Claydon's nip-backer and with lunch delayed after the ninth wicket fell Claydon wrapped things up when last man Steve Magoffin was caught behind. Only Nash batted for longer than an hour.

Kent head to Beckenham next week where victory over Northamptonshire could set up a potential winner-takes-all promotion decider against Essex at Canterbury on September 20.

Sussex 3rd innings Partnerships

1st39CD NashTJ Haines
2nd3CD NashA Shahzad
3rd17CD NashLWP Wells
4th28LWP WellsFJ Hudson-Prentice
5th29Craig CachopaFJ Hudson-Prentice
6th33BC BrownCraig Cachopa
7th10D WieseCraig Cachopa
8th13D WieseOE Robinson
9th9D WieseDR Briggs
10th8SJ MagoffinD Wiese