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Essex close on Surrey by beating Kent

Vitality County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day four)

Essex 591-7 dec: Cox 207, Snater 83*, Pepper 82, Elgar 77; Evison 2-93

Kent: 394 & 101: Denly 23; Harmer 4-32, Snater 3-15

Essex (21 pts) beat Kent (3 pts) by and innings and 96 runs

Match scorecard

Essex routed Kent by an innings and 96 runs in their County Championship clash at Canterbury.

Simon Harmer took 4-32 and Shane Snater 3-15 as the visitors skittled Kent for 101 in their second innings to narrow the gap on leaders Surrey to just two points.

Kent were 197 behind going into the final day and home fans were hoping a combination of the grit shown on day three and a biblical weather forecast might see them escape with a draw.

They were severely disappointed. There was torrential rain almost everywhere else in the county but play began on time and Kent endured a gruesome morning session, the tone for which was set when Zak Crawley survived just four balls before he was lbw to Snater.

Essex threw the ball to Harmer after 12 overs and he struck with his third delivery to get Ben Compton lbw for 12.

Marcus O'Riordan was next to go, making nine from 25 balls before Harmer had him caught at short leg by Nick Browne.

Daniel Bell-Drummond was lbw to Matt Critchley for 20 in the next over and Harry Finch inexplicably tried to reverse sweep Harmer on four and was lbw, although he seemed to have been hit outside the line.

Kent were 64-5 at lunch, after which there was a 10-minute delay for rain.

Joe Denly and Joey Evison at least offered some resistance, but having dealt with the spinners fairly comfortably, Evison was lbw to Snater for 16.

Snater then sent Grant Stewart's off stump cartwheeling for one to claim his 100th first-class wicket for Essex.

Denly tried to drive Harmer but was caught by Aaron Beard for 23 and with Wes Agar unable to bat, victory was confirmed when Critchley had Parkinson lbw for 10 in the 58th over.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network