Northamptonshire 398 (Duckett 145, Azharullah 58*) beat Kent 167 (Denly 50, Haggett 49, Stone 4-59) and 208 (Sanderson 4-44) by an innings and 23 runs
Northamptonshire dismissed Championship Division Two rivals Kent for 208 to wrap up an innings-and-23-runs victory with almost a day-and-a-half to spare at Canterbury.
Hosts Kent seemingly had little desire for the fight as they lost nine wickets in less than two sessions to gift a 23-point win to Northants. That left Kent second from bottom and they went straight into the nets afterwards having banked only three points from this their seventh defeat in 12 Championship games.
Resuming on 90 for 1 at the start of Thursday's play, Kent lost four more wickets in the morning session of what transpired to be a one-sided clash.
Once again, poor shot selection led to their demise with Joe Denly starting the rot with a meek clip off his hip straight into the hands of Josh Cobb at short midwicket. Captain Sam Northeast was pinned leg before when playing across a full length ball from Azharullah, as was Ben Harmison, whose painful 36-minute stay for 3 ended with a near identical stroke against Ben Sanderson.
On 27 Rob Key had raised Kent's 100 in fortunate circumstances with a top-edged hook against Azharullah that was palmed over the ropes for six by Maurice Chambers at long leg. But after adding another nine to his own score Key perished when another miscued pull against Sanderson sailed to Azharullah who safely pouched the opportunity to make it 121 for 5.
The capitulation gathered pace after lunch when Darren Stevens was adjudged leg before for 15 to the excellent Olly Stone who, in tandem with Azharullah, sent down 53 of the 78 overs needed to skittle Kent.
Stone then cleaned up Calum Haggett with the very next delivery for a golden duck and although James Tredwell survived the hat-trick ball, the end for Kent was nigh. Azharullah had Tredwell caught at long leg, one of three Kent players to be caught out on the hook, as was top-scorer Sam Billings (43) leaving Chambers to polish off the win by rearranging the stumps of Kent's last man Matt Hunn.
Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely said: "I've just said in our team meeting that I believe that to be the best collective bowling performance that I've ever witnessed by a Northants team. We barely bowled a bad ball throughout and really made life tough for a Kent batting line-up that is chock full of experienced players.
"I'm very proud of that performance considering we were missing the two spearheads of our attack. Stone and Azharullah were magnificent and Ben Sanderson has again proved a real asset. We've also given ourselves a valuable day off ahead of our T20 quarter final."
Northeast said: "I thought Northamptonshire bowled really well on this pitch. There wasn't much in it for our lads, but they got out of it what they could.
"A couple of us made starts in this match but nobody went on to play a match-defining knock. We all have to stick our hands up and say that wasn't good enough. We have four games to go in this competition now. We need to look at our practice and how we're going about things because there's no denying that we're very inconsistent."
Kent vs Northants
LV= County Championship Division Two
England Domestic Season