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Kent avoid follow on in rain-reduced day

Derbyshire 460 and 85 for 1 v Kent 352
Scorecard

Allrounder Matt Coles celebrated his 21st birthday by cracking the boundary that saved Kent from following-on against Derbyshire during a rain-affected third day of County Championship action in Canterbury.

When heavy showers finally put paid to a protracted day, Derbyshire had reached 85 for 1 in their second innings for an overall lead of 193 going into the fourth and final day.

In search of their second centuries of this Division Two contest, visiting batsmen Wayne Madsen and Usman Khawaja had reached 43 and 32 not out respectively, before rain arrived for a third and final time just after 5pm. Kent's only success came after six overs when Chesney Hughes (eight) drove on the up against Ashley Shaw and only succeeded in picking out Azhar Mahmood at mid-off.

The hosts had started the day under the cosh on 198 for 4 in their first innings and needing 311 to avoid batting again as they replied to Derbyshire's 460 all out. They soon lost nightwatchman Neil Saker leg before wicket to the eighth ball of the day from all-rounder Tim Groenewald, who then enticed Darren Stevens to play across the line and also depart lbw, this time for seven.

Experienced duo Geraint Jones and James Tredwell teamed up to add a useful 46 for the seventh wicket before Jones, having just celebrated an 80-ball half-century, went leg before to Jonathan Clare's first delivery with the second new ball.

Tredwell took three boundaries in an over when fellow off-spinner Azeem Rafiq attempted to bowl on with a greasy ball and had posted an eye-catching 34 when he fell, caught behind from an airy drive, to the seventh ball after lunch from Jonathan Clare.

Coles and Azhar Mahmood took Kent to their third batting bonus point and it was Coles, with a glorious square drive on the up, that eventually eased Kent to 311 and alleviate the risk of following on. Mahmood went soon after, lbw to the impressive Groenewald - who finished with 4 wickets for 64 runs.

However, Coles and last man Shaw survived a further eight overs in helping Kent to 352 all out - their best total to date in this season's championship.