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Nottinghamshire 265 (Mullaney 86, Nijjar 4-67) and 348 (Clarke 141*, Hogan 5-63) drew with Kent 446 (Crawley 158, Leaning 64, Bell-Drummond 60) and 86 for 6 (Muyeye 28, Fernando 3-40)
Kent escaped with a draw in their LV= Insurance County Championship game with Nottinghamshire after nearly imploding in pursuit of a target of 168. The hosts were grateful for former Notts players Joey Evison and Ben Compton, who blocked for nearly 20 overs after Asitha Fernando took three quick wickets to help reduce them to 59 for five. Kent were 86 for six when the captains shook hands.
On a final day at Canterbury that veered between tedium and extreme tension, Notts were bowled out for 348 in their second innings, after being forced to follow on. A game that Kent looked likely to win and then seemed to be heading for a draw ignited in the final session. When Joe Clarke and Brett Hutton came together in the day's seventh over, Notts were still trailing Kent's first innings score of 446 by one, with just three second innings wickets remaining.
Clarke batted for 277 balls to make 141, and he put 148 for the eighth wicket with Hutton, who made a career-best knock of 84. By the time their partnership was broken Notts were 147 ahead and when Yuzvendra Chahal then took two wickets in as many balls it set up a fraught finale. Having dominated for most of the first three days, Kent couldn't resist the target and ended up enduring a nerve-shredding final hour.
Nottinghamshire began the day on 177 for 5 in their second innings and looked like they might not survive the first hour. After a start delayed till 11:20am by rain, Kent took the new ball as soon as it became available and Michael Hogan used it to take two wickets from as many balls. His fourth delivery got rid of Lyndon James for 39 after he edged him to Jack Leaning at second slip, ending a stand of 102 and Calvin Harrison went lbw to the next delivery.
Hutton took a single from the hat-trick ball to bring the scores level and played like he was determined to set Kent a target, advancing to 48 not out at lunch, at which point it was 235 for 7, a lead of 54. He reached 50 with a single from Nathan Gilchrist and as the game began to drift away from Kent, Clarke drove Hogan for four to reach three figures.
There were few chances but the game sparked to life when Hutton blocked a delivery from Nijjar and Clarke hared halfway down the wicket before he realised his partner hadn't moved. Chahal ran him out out by a yard.
Still bruised by their defeat at Middlesex, Nottinghamshire looked unlikely to declare and seemed comfortable enough at 348 for eight at tea, but Chahal had Paterson caught by Daniel Bell-Drummond for five with the fourth ball of the evening session and he wrapped up the innings two balls later when Zak Crawley caught Asitha Fernando for a duck.
Kent were scenting what would have been only their third red-ball win of the season, but they approached the chase as if they were playing Blast cricket instead of a modest five-an-over. Crawley was sent out to open alongside Tawanda Muyeye instead of his regular partner Ben Compton, but after crunching Paterson for four he hit the next delivery straight to James at deep square leg.
Fernando then had Bell-Drummond caught for four by Harrison at slip, Jack Leaning was run out for six chasing a single that existed only in his head and Muyeye tried to hook Fernando and fell to an acrobatic Tom Moores grab.
With Kent reeling on 52 for 4, Compton was sent out to drop anchor, but Fernando produced a jaffa to send Harry Finch's off stump flying for seven. When Joey Evison joined Compton, with a minimum 19.1 overs remaining, they made no attempt to chase the runs.
After an hour's resistance, Ben Slater caught the latter off Matt Montgomery, but Nijjar and Evison just about clung on. Kent take 12 points and Nottinghamshire eight.
Kent survive late scare after Nottinghamshire turn the tables at Canterbury
Having bossed the first three days, the hosts had to take the draw and remain in the relegation zone
Joe Clarke and Lyndon James hold up Kent's survival push
Pair rebuild with 99-run stand to bring Nottinghamshire within four of parity in follow-on innings
Aron Nijjar, Yuzvendra Chahal share six to give Kent upper hand
Nottinghamshire slide in face of twin spin despite century stand between Mullaney and Clarke