Sam Cook ten-for seals thumping Essex victory
Only 4.4 overs needed for visitors to take final two Kent wickets on fourth morning
ECB Reporters Network
Essex 573 (Khushi 164, Critchley 90, Cook 78, Westley 54, Allison 53) beat Kent 164 (Allison 4-40) and 149 (Cox 65, Cook 7-33) by an innings and 260 runs
Essex routed Kent by an innings and 260 runs on day four of their LV=Insurance match with Essex at Canterbury. The visitors needed just 4.4 overs to claim the remaining two wickets on day four, bowling Kent out for 149.
Sam Cook took 10 for 60 in the match, including 7 for 33 in the second innings, while Jamie Porter claimed 3 for 50. Jordan Cox was Kent's top-scorer with 65, but the hosts are now deep in the relegation mire, having taken just a single point, while Essex claimed 23.
"Credit to Kent and the groundstaff, they've actually done an outstanding job getting the ground fit and ready to play, "Essex's captain, Tom Westley, said. "It was frustrating last night needing the two wickets and knowing there was some bad weather around today, but everything's worked out for the best.
"We could keep talking about Sammy Cook and I have done relentlessly, but he's absolutely world class, I don't think there's a better seamer. The stats will back it up, he gets wickets in the first innings, the second innings, at Chelmsford and away from Chelmsford and he's phenomenal. We're very lucky to have him at Essex."
Torrential rain delayed the start until 12.38pm, with Kent resuming on 137 for 8 in their second innings, needing a notional 272 to make Essex bat again.
In reality, with Milnes' mobility drastically reduced due to a stress fracture in his back, Kent's only hope of escaping with a draw was to bat for as long as possible and hope the rain returned.
Milnes, in what may be his final act as a Kent player before he moves to Yorkshire next season, lasted three overs before getting a bottom edge to Cook that was taken by a tumbling Nick Browne. Although dark clouds were hovering, the rain stayed away and the victory was sealed when Cox edged Porter and fell to a juggling catch by Matt Critchley in the slips.
Kent's coach, Matt Walker, said: "I don't think we deserved the rain to save us really, we haven't played well enough over three days and if you're hoping for rain to save you, you know you're in a pretty tough spot. We fought hard last night to try and drag it out till today where we knew the forecast was a bit indifferent, but we didn't deserve to get anything out of this game.
"The numbers are pretty stark. It was a good cricket wicket, there was a bit in it, it was a good toss to win and we didn't make the most of those conditions early on. It wasn't a terrible first session but we didn't challenge them enough and they just showed us how to go about it and how to bowl on this wicket. It almost at times looked as if it was two different surfaces and that's what happens when you do your basics well enough."