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Leicester, August 19 - 21, 2018, Specsavers County Championship Division Two
220 & 227
(T:253) 195 & 253/2

Kent won by 8 wickets


Abbas' best keeps Kent sweating

Six wickets for Mohammad Abbas has left a tense third day ahead at Grace Road between two sides in the top four

Leicestershire 220 (Horton 49, Thomas 4-35) and 126 for 5 (Dearden 61, Thomas 4-50) lead Kent 195 (Denly 62, Abbas 6-48, Raine 4-62) by 151 runs
Mohammad Abbas took 6 for 48, his best return for Leicestershire, as the bowlers continued to hold the upper hand in a Specsavers County Championship match against promotion rivals Kent that ended the second day very much in the balance at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road.
The Pakistan international seamer, who was named Man of the Series after his country's two Tests against England earlier this summer, took full advantage of the heavy cloud and used pitch to move the ball both in the air and off the seam, with only Joe Denly standing firm as visitors were bowled out for just 195 in their first innings.
Kent struck back strongly however, with Ivan Thomas taking 4 for 50 as the Foxes ended the day on 126 for 5, a lead of 151 with five second innings wickets in hand.
Resuming with Kent on 53 for 3, Denly and Sam Billings were made to work hard for their runs as the ball continued to swing and nip off the pitch. Abbas had beaten Billings on numerous occasions before he found the edge of the Kent captain's bat and Ned Eckersley held a outstanding low catch diving to his right behind the stumps.
Zak Crawley went the same way, feathering a thin edge off Abbas to give Eckersley a more comfortable catch and reduce the visitors to 100 for 5, but Denly was joined by debutant Ollie Robinson in building a substantial partnership for the sixth wicket, helped by frontline seamers Abbas and Ben Raine coming to the end of their spells.
Denly broke the shackles by hitting four boundaries in one over from Gavin Griffiths, bringing up his half-century with a fine straight drive to the rope off the same bowler, but Raine returned to the attack to pick up three quick wickets before lunch.
Robinson, on the back foot, edged an outswinger to Eckersley, and in the same over Darren Stevens glanced down the leg-side only for Eckersley to pull off another brilliant catch flinging himself to his left. In the over before the break Denly, having battled his way to 62, missed a full inswinger from Raine and was plumb leg before wicket.
Abbas returned after the break to bowl Harry Podmore off the inside edge before Grant Stewart was caught at cover driving.
Kent picked up an early wicket of their own when Horton was leg before to a Stewart in-swinger, but Dearden in particular was batting positively, and he and Colin Ackermann added 69 for Leicestershire's second wicket before Ackermann went leg before to a Thomas delivery that seamed back in.
Mark Cosgrove, going through a bad patch by his high standards, nicked off to Thomas without scoring, and though Dearden passed 50, he lost two further partners, both to Thomas, as Ateeq Javid was caught down the legside by Billings and Eckersley fell leg before before rain and bad light saw play close 13 overs early.

Kent Innings
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Specsavers County Championship Division Two