County cruise to speedy win over Kent

Olly Stone
Olly Stone
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Olly Stone took a career best 5-44 as Northamptonshire recorded a crushing eight-wicket victory inside six sessions of play against Kent at Wantage Road.

It was their first LV= County Championship win on home soil since August 2013.

Despite a first-day washout, Northants were celebrating victory by 4.50pm on day three as they needed only nine overs to chase down a target of 46 after Stone’s second career five-wicket haul saw Kent bowled out for 151 in their second innings, Joe Denly top scoring with 39.

After four successive Championship draws at Wantage Road this season, the fifth game was over inside two days of action, on a pitch that was green and offering some assistance to the bowlers, but not to the extent that saw 15 wickets fall on the third day after 17 on the second.

Resuming on 193-7, Richard Levi hit 50 as th

e hosts were bowled out for 246 in the first hour of the morning. Steven Crook helped Levi add 38 for the eighth wicket but fell LBW to Stevens for 22, and although Rory Kleinveldt edged the next ball to slip, Levi brought up his 50 with a six before being bowled by Mitchell Claydon two balls later.

With a deficit of 106, Kent were soon in trouble at 25-2 as Kleinveldt trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond LBW for 10, and Rob Key (1) departed in the same manor off Mohammad Azharullah four balls later.

Sam Northeast (4) shouldered arms to be bowled by Kleinveldt after lunch, but Denly and Darren Stevens offered brief resistance with a partnership of 42, before the later became Stone’s first victim, edging to slip for 28, sparking a second Kent collapse.

Having lost their last eight wickets for 47 in the first innings, second time round the final seven would add just 51 as Stone ran through the middle order with five wickets in six overs.

The 21-year-old trapped Adam Ball (7) in front in his next over and two overs later, Denly top edged a hook to be caught at fine-leg, the first of wickets in three consecutive overs, as Tredwell was leg before for 7 and Matt Coles (2) edged to slip.

Azharullah and Kleinveldt, who had both taken five in Kent’s first innings returned to wrap up the innings with the wickets of Ryan Davies and Ivan Thomas respectively.

Needing just 46 for victory, Rob Newton raced to 27 as he looked to finish things quickly but top edged a catch to wicketkeeper Davies, Ben Duckett (1) following two balls later, guiding Stevens into the slips.

Those wickets only delayed the inevitable however as captain Alex Wakely’s unbeaten 15 guided his side to their second victory of the season alongside Rob Keogh.