Hampshire vs Kent day three: The Royals fight-back to leave the match tentatively poised heading into the final day


Hampshire: 409-9d & 119-2

Kent: 555 

Prost Player of the Day: Fidel Edwards – 5-118.

Heading into the all important third day at the Ageas Bowl, usually known as ‘moving day’ where one team inserts their superiority, Kent found themselves trailing by 90 runs but with seven wickets remaining at 319-3.

With over 700 runs posted in the previous two days, there was little doubt that the track at the Ageas Bowl was a good albeit flat one. After posting 409-9 before declaring, largely thanks to opener Felix Organ’s century, Hampshire were firmly in the driving seat.

However with the Ashes on the horizon, Joe Denly led the Spitfire fight-back. The Kent man teamed up with Daniel Bell-Drummond (94) and put on a 206-run partnership for the third wicket. Denly, who made 20 and 69 batting at the number three slot in England’s last Test match against West Indies in February, strode out for the start of day three unbeaten on 138 and an opportunity to further enhance his Test credentials.

The Day’s Play:

England hopeful Denly could only add 16 runs to his overnight total, getting trapped LBW on the crease by Hampshire seamer Keith Barker. Neverthleess the number three, who has made two County Championship centuries since being omitted from the final 15 for England’s dramatic World Cup triumph, did his chances no harm with a mercurial captain innings.

Despite the wicket of Denly, Kent kept their foot on the pump with South African Heino Kuhn and the incoming Ollie Robinson looking to quickly surpass Hampshire’s first innings total. Although there were encouraging signs for the South coast outfit and Fidel Edwards in particular, who looked potent with the pitch showing signs of deterioration and uneven bounce early on in the day.

Shortly after bringing up the 400 run mark for the visitors and awarded maximum batting points, Ollie Robinson departed after West Indian paceman Edwards managed to bring the ball back into the pads of Robinson, getting him LBW.

Grant Stewart was then sent-packing without a run to his name when Fidel Edwards cannoned the ball through the defence of the Kent man, sending the stumps flying.

The morning session was certainly an engaging one for the spectators in the ground, with the balance between bat and ball a perfectly fine contest. Kent, led by Kuhn aggressively dug in whilst Hampshire’s seamers looked threatening. They trotted in for lunch with Kent 433-6.

Fidel Edwards enjoyed a terrific tussle with Heino Kuhn – Photo:hantscricket

After the break Kent upped the ante, coming down the track and attacking young leggie, Mason Crane. Three heaves to leg side from veteran Darren Stevens in the opening over after lunch sent out a clear statement of intent. Kent wanted to build a defendable target and insert Hampshire into bat with enough time in the game to spare to grab the ten wickets.

A smart catch at silly mid-on from Aneurin Donald removed Darren Stevens for a brisk 60 whilst skipper Heino Kuhn was struck by a vicious bouncer from Edwards which saw the South African fall down in a heap. Immediate concern was shown by the Hampshire players who gestured for the physio to treat him.

Following a break-in play Kuhn bravely battled on before being hit by another ferocious short delivery from Edwards that pierced the rib cage. Just three deliveries later Kuhn was then cleaned up by the West Indian, five short of what would have been a well-timed and battled hundred. Gareth Berg cleaned up the tail but left Hampshire trailing by 146 runs ahead of their second innings.

The home side came out to bat at the start of the evening session trusting the two openers (Felix Organ and Ian Holland) to keep them afloat in the match.

After a watchful start from the pair, medium-pacer Darren Stevens managed to nibble one in at danger-man Felix Organ’s pads, leaving Hampshire 7-1 and beginning to stare down the barrel of defeat.

Experienced Indian International Ajinkya Rahane came in and combined with Holland for a dogged 59-run partnership but was bowled by Grant Stewart for 42.

Hampshire managed to see out the rest of the day without any more wickets falling with Holland and Rilee Rossouw both unbeaten on 37. They start day four 27 runs adrift with eight wickets remaining.

Team Lineups:

Hampshire: Felix Organ, Ian Holland, Ajinkya Rahane, Rilee Rossouw, Aneurin Donald, Gareth Berg, Lewis McManus (Wk), Keith Barker, Kyle Abbott (c), Mason Crane, Fidel Edwards.

Kent: Sean Dickson, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn (c), Ollie Robinson (Wk), Grant Stewart, Darren Stevens,Ollie Rayner,Harry Podmore, Matthew Milnes.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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