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Hants in final-day stalemate at Tunbridge Wells
11:02pm Saturday 9th June 2012 in Hampshire Cricket
Kent made a hash of their second successive LV= County Championship run-chase and could only draw with promotion rivals Hampshire after falling 84 runs short on the final day in Tunbridge Wells.
After running out of steam against Northamptonshire in similar circumstances at Canterbury last month, Kent made pretty much the same mistakes all over again and ultimately banked only five points to Hampshire's six.
Having agreed a run-chase deal, the captains duly endorsed a brace of declarations that left Kent with a minimum of 70 overs to reach 304 for their win.
Having watched rain falling, then umpires inspecting sodden conditions for the best part of three days, the 500 or so supporters who took advantage of free, final-day admission to The Nevill ground at least enjoyed sunshine as well as some entertaining cricket.
For their part, Hampshire declared half an hour before lunch on 303 for eight - immediately after posting their third batting bonus point - and challenged Kent to an afternoon pursuit at the rate of 4.34 an over.
The hosts set off in sprightly fashion through Rob Key and Sam Northeast, who added 37 through to the interval only to slightly lose their way after it.
With the asking rate mounting and with only 75 on the board, Key went leg before for 35. Pushing well forward to Kabir Ali, the ball brushed pad before bat and Key was sent packing.
Home number three Ben Harmison, struggling for timing and form, hung around for 32 balls for 11 runs before he, in a moment of self-sacrifice, clipped one from Dimitri Mascarenhas straight to mid-wicket to make it 99 for two.
Kent promoted Darren Stevens in a bid to add impetus, but his cameo stay for 28 ended with a sliced drive against the wily Mascarenhas that picked out the fielder at deep cover.
Recalled opening batsman Northeast kept the board ticking with a 94-ball fifty but, with his score on 79, the former Harrow School right-hander drove on the up against David Balcombe and saw Jimmy Adams dive to his left and claim an athletic catch at mid-wicket.
Brendan Nash, the former West Indies batsman, played some delightful strokes on his way to 18 but, with Kent requiring a further 125 going into the final 16, perished when attempting to manufacture a shot. Backing away to cut Kabir Ali, he saw Carberry gather an excellent low catch.
Carberry starred again by taking another stunning catch, this time diving fully to his right at cover, to account for Matt Coles for 18.
Michael Powell joined forces with Geraint Jones thereafter and both reined in the big strokes to ensure Kent would at least draw. The sides ultimately shook hands at 6pm with Kent on 220 for six.
At the start of the final day Hampshire batted on for another 90 minutes in adding 74 to their overnight total. Liam Dawson had reached an unbeaten 134 when his side notched 300 for a third batting bonus point before declaring.
A double forfeiture followed, but neither side could dominate thereafter and the game ended in stalemate.
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