So, at the end of it all, we blew it this morning.
A fine partnership between Rob Key (who I still think is better than Ian Bell and should be in the England side) and Geraint Jones took the game away from us, but I said last night to friends that we needed to bat till lunch or set them 350, whichever was the quicker in coming.
The way that Kent collapsed after Key and Jones were dismissed suggested that a few more runs would have been very awkward and might have made that pairing have to take more chances.
We didn't seem to bowl too well, with Graham Wagg having an expensive day, though it happens to all bowlers on occasion. The fact is that Dan Redfern seemed to cause more problems than Jake Needham on a track that should have suited the latter. Maybe the extra pace of Nantie Hayward might have helped, but the ones selected did the business in the first innings, so...
For me the loss must be attributed to this morning's batting. We seemed to fall between the two stools, not knowing whether to go for quick runs or bat out some time, ending up doing neither especially well. It is especially galling after matching the "best team in the division" (TM) and perhaps besting them for much of the match.
What does it all mean? Well, that we need to regroup in time for the game against Surrey at Whitgift School on Wednesday. Kent are now 18 points clear with a game in hand and will be shoo-ins for the title, but we are still nine points clear of third place in the promotion stakes.
Crucially, Northamptonshire beat Middlesex today which means their game in hand could see them leapfrog us at some point, but we must now look to win matches, rather than picking up good draws.
Our promotion destiny is still in our own hands and a win at Surrey and Leicester will set up the game against Northamptonshire at Chesterfield very nicely. We'll learn a lot about our young side in the next couple of weeks.