Sunday, 2 August 2009

Kent v Derbyshire Day 3

What a fascinating duel is taking place at Canterbury!

At the end of the third day, Derbyshire are exactly 250 runs ahead with six wickets left and the game very much alive going into the final day. Tomorrow's forecast is for light rain, which could ruin a potentially tight finish, but it will be interesting to see how both sides approach it.

Going into the game I suggested that we'd be delighted with a draw and that is easily within our compass unless we collapse tomorrow. With Hinds and Smith at the crease and plenty of batting to come, that should not be an issue and it is more a question of when Morris and Rogers decide to declare. They will be wary of Kent's potentially explosive and long batting line up on a wicket that does not appear to have deteriorated. The most likely result would appear to be a draw, but cricket is a funny game..

We ended up with a less-than-expected but still handy first innings lead thanks to Tim Groenewald's best Championship figures, before Chris Rogers (pictured) played the captain's innings we have been waiting for when it mattered most. Wayne Madsen got the unluckiest of dismissals - run out at the non-strikers end when the ball was tipped onto the stumps, before Garry Park came back to form with a fine 50 in a partnership with Rogers that took the game from the hosts.

Although both, together with Dan Redfern were dismissed after tea, Hinds and Smith saw us to stumps to leave the game beautifully poised. While I know Derbyshire would love a win, the draw points will be useful and will cement their place in the table, especially as Gloucestershire's game against Glamorgan looks destined for a draw, as do those of the chasing pack.

Another big day tomorrow then. They will all be from now until the end of the season.

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