County Championship: Notts paid hold up Kent after follow-on enforced

LV=County Championship Division One, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day three):

Kent 446: Crawley 158, Leaning 64, Bell-Drummond 60; James 2-30, Hutton 2-79

Nottinghamshire 265 & 177-5: Clarke 61*, Slater 39, James 38*; Hogan 3-23

Nottinghamshire (3pts) trail Kent (7pts) by four runs with five wickets standing


A defiant rearguard action from Joe Clarke and Lyndon James gave Nottinghamshire hope of avoiding defeat in their County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury, after they were forced to follow on.

Notts ended day three on 177-5 in their second innings, a deficit of just four runs, after Clarke and James batted through the entire evening session to finish unbeaten on 61 and 38 respectively at stumps.

Aron Nijjar had earlier claimed career-best figures of 4-67 as the visitors were bowled out for 265 in their first innings.

Michael Hogan and Joey Evison then shared five wickets after Kent asked Notts to bat again, but after reducing the visitors to 78-5, they were frustrated during a wicketless evening session.

The visitors began day three on 219-8, a deficit of 227, but with the weather forecast looking ominous and with electrical storms predicted to arrive by mid-afternoon.

Brett Hutton and Dane Paterson hung around for 40 potentially crucial minutes against Nijjar and Yuzvendra Chahal, adding just 10 to the overnight score.

Yet having taken 14 overs out of the game, Paterson started to hit out and he skied Nijjar to Jack Leaning, who took his fifth catch of the innings.

That last-wicket pair managed to bat out a further 10 overs and Asitha Fernando made an entertaining 14 not out that included a six off Nijjar when he plastered him over cow corner.

With the follow-on target dwindling, Nathan Gilchrist was handed the new ball midway through the 97th over and he had Hutton caught behind for 31 with the second ball of his next.

The skies were looking leaden and Kent immediately told the umpires the wanted Notts to bat again.

After six overs of resistance Hogan produced an inswinger that splayed Haseed Hameed's middle and leg stumps, bowling him for seven, but although Notts were 20-1 at lunch, after it Steven Mullaney and Ben Slater looked largely unthreatened until rain forced the teams from the field at 1:58pm.

Despite a 38-minute delay, Kent were so far ahead of the over rate only one was lost and Evison duly transformed the mood in the ground with two wickets in three balls.

He broke the partnership when he tempted Mullaney into a pull that was caught on the backward square leg boundary by the sub, Arafat Bhuiyan. Slater then inexplicably drove Evison straight to Hogan at mid-off.

It was then Hogan's turn to take two wickets in an over. He bowled Matt Montgomery, off stump for six and three balls later had Tom Moores caught at first slip thanks to a stunning one-handed grab by Zak Crawley.

Clarke and James looked far more at ease after the resumption, offering few chances and steadily eroding Kent's lead. Clarke hit a Nijjar full toss for four to pass 50 in the final scheduled over, although to the confusion of almost everyone in the ground, play continued.

The players, at least, seemed to know but no one told the scorers, fans, media or PA announcer, until the umpires belatedly let it be known play was going to continue till 6:00pm, and a few desultory overs followed.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.