Lancashire 327 (Bohannon 113, Hurst 76*, Balderson 54) vs Kent
There was a frustrating day for relegation-threatened Kent in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Canterbury, as Lancashire recovered from 18 for three and 240 for eight to reach 327 all out at stumps.
Kent at least took the full complement of bowling bonus points, with Matt Quinn and Aron Nijjar both claiming three wickets.
The spectre of the drop has loomed over Kent for most of the season and the equation going into the final game was simple: a single point ahead of Middlesex at the start of play and having just two victories to Middlesex’s three, they will go down if the teams finish level.
An all-seam attack had struggled to make any impact in the draw with Somerset, but the hosts were boosted by the return of Quinn and Nathan Gilchrist from injury and both made an early impact.
Both openers went cheaply. Quinn struck in the fourth over, when Keaton Jennings was caught by a sprinting Ben Compton at leg gully for four.
Nathan Gilchrist then had Luke Wells caught behind for five and home hopes surged when keeper Harry Finch, selected ahead of club captain Sam Billings, took a superb diving catch when Steven Croft edged Quinn down the leg side, handing Kent an early bowling point.
Their optimism was ephemeral. Lancashire responded with stand of 78 between Bohannon and
George Bell, who looked fluent for 40 before Quinn had him caught behind.
Bohannon reached 50 when he took two from Nijjar in the final over before lunch, at which point it was 106 for four.
Lancashire seized the momentum in the afternoon. When Bohannon hit Joey Evison for four through cow corner it brought up his tenth first-class century. By the time he was stumped trying to charge Jack Leaning, Lancs were 217 for five and Balderson was set, taking a single from Leaning to bring up his half-century.
It was 231 for five at tea, but Balderson failed to add to his score, caught at short leg by Compton off Yuzvendra Chahal and handing Kent a second bowling bonus point.
Tom Bailey made a seven-ball duck, hitting Nijjar straight to Gilchrist at extra cover but Hurst was on seven when he edged Nijjar to first slip and he was dropped by Leaning.
Nijjar didn’t have to wait long for his second wicket as Jack Blatherwick tried to slog him and was caught by a back-pedalling Daniel Bell-Drummond at long off, but Hurst then led a counter-attack that exasperated the hosts.
He hit Chahal for six and had moved to 44 by the time he skied Quinn and Evison couldn’t quite haul him in. A scampered single from Quinn took him to 50 and with Will Williams he saw off the new ball, steering Lancs past the 300 mark.
Nijjar secured a third bonus point when he had Williams lbw for 11 and the day at least ended on a high for Kent when, with the very last ball, Chahal bowled Jack Morley for two. The other chink of hope for home fans was the early finish of the ODI in Bristol, meaning Crawley should at least get a reasonable night’s sleep if he’s available to open tomorrow.