Derbyshire 253 and 234-3
Kent 159 and 231-5
My comment regarding the weather being the deciding factor turned out to be quite propitious today, when an absorbing day's cricket that ebbed and flowed throughout was ended by the rain at tea.
It came bang on cue, as given by the forecasters, yet stopped a game that could have gone either way in its tracks. When Rob Key and Sam Northeast were going well, Kent clawed back the ascendancy that had gone to us with two early wickets, but Tony Palladino's removal of the former slowed their progress.
Ben Harmison looked sketchy to start but had got into his stride before tea with three successive boundaries before he got too confident against Chesney Hughes' spin and edged to Wayne Madsen at slip. It was the last action before tea and, coming soon after Mark Footitt had induced an edge from an assayed hook by Northeast, saw Derbyshire go into the interval the more confident side.
Five down was effectively six, with Billings unable to bat, so with 98 needed to win and two new batsmen at the crease, the Derbyshire attack will have come out after tea for one final assault on the tail. With Alex Hughes off the pitch after a crack on the hand yesterday, along with Shiv Thakor, still hors de combat after his first day blow to the head, we were two bowlers light and the burden on the rest was considerable.
They did extremely well. Ben Cotton and Palladino ran in hard, but star turn was once again Mark Footitt, whose pace never dropped from the first over to his last and who bowled 24 overs in the innings. It was a top effort by the paceman and all three will sleep well tonight.
Given better weather, it is a game we would have won easily and the team can be pleased with a good effort over the four days.
Especially Billy Godleman.
That will live long in his memory.