Brave declaration fails to see Kent home at Canterbury as match ends in draw
Adam Rossington's 59* steers Northamptonshire to safety after hosts declare 62 runs adrift
Kent 330 for 5 dec. (Robinson 120, Cox 90, Denly 63) drew with Northamptonshire 392 (Gay 101, Procter 81, Vasconcelos 66, Stevens 5-73) and 184 for 8 dec (Rossington 59*)
Kent have drawn their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Northamptonshire, despite an engrossing final day at Canterbury.
An obdurate Adam Rossington eventually steered the visitors to safety with an unbeaten 59, but only after a brave declaration by the home side on their overnight score of 330 for 5, when they were still 62 runs behind.
Nathan Gilchrist took 3 for 57 and Darren Stevens 2 for 42 as Kent scented an unlikely Group Three victory, only for the game to drift away in the final session, Northamptonshire finishing on 184 for 8 dec.
With Northants reluctant to risk the eight points for the draw by contriving a finish, Kent gambled on declaring early in the hope of recording their first win of the season and they were rewarded with four wickets in the morning session.
Stevens struck in the second over, removing Emilio Gay lbw for eight and he then had Ricardo Vasconcelos caught behind for nine. After three matches without a wicket, Miguel Cummins, on the last day of his stint with Kent, finally looked like the bowler they thought they were getting when they signed him, and a spell of serious menace saw him get Rob Keogh caught behind for 12.
Jordan Cox then took a sharp catch at first slip off Gilchrist to remove Gareth Berg for 21, leaving Northants on 70 for 4 at lunch.
The afternoon session was fascinatingly balanced: every time Northants seemed to be heading for safety, Kent took a wicket. Gilchrist struck again in his first over, getting Saif Zaib caught behind for six, but Cummings was denied a second wicket when Luke Procter, batting despite an injury, edged him to third slip, where he was put down by Marcus O'Riordan.
After putting on 50 with Rossington, Procter was brilliantly run out for 17 by Daniel Bell-Drummond, after being sent back by his captain while attempting a single.
Cox took another excellent slip catch off Gilchrist to dismiss Tom Taylor for 12 and when Nathan Buck was lbw for 6 to Joe Denly the lead was a gettable 212, with 45 overs remaining.
However, the visitors had pushed on to 156 for 8 at tea and the only chance of a tepid evening session came when Simon Kerrigan was dropped at short leg by Tawanda Muyeye off Denly. The captains shook hands on the draw at 4.50pm, Kent taking 14 points and Northamptonshire 13.