Kent 230 (Robinson 71, Jacks 4-65) and 82 for 1 (Compton 47*) trail Surrey 671 for 9 dec (Pope 96, Overton 93, Foakes 91, Curran 78, Patel 76, de Grandhomme 66, Clark 54*) by 359 runs
Kent are battling to save their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Surrey at Beckenham, having reached 82 for one in their second innings at stumps on day three.
The hosts are still 359 behind the Division One leaders’ total of 671 for nine, but Zak Crawley and Ben Compton batted through most of the evening session after Kent were forced to follow on.
Will Jacks bowled Crawley for 35 in the penultimate over of the day, but Compton is unbeaten on 47, alongside side night-watchman Matt Milnes, who is nought not out.
Earlier Jacks took his best first-class figures of four for 65, as Kent were dismissed for 230 in their first innings, while Jamie Overton took three for 33. Ollie Robinson’s was Kent’s top scorer with 71, while Compton made his second 47 of the day.
What had looked like a typical Beckenham “road” when Surrey were batting suddenly resembled a country lane full of pot holes when Kent resumed on 45 for one.
Daniel Bell-Drummond lasted for 40 minutes, but was brilliantly caught by Ollie Pope in the slips off Jamie Overton for 13 and Jack Leaning made just nine before he was bowled by Jacks.
Overton was generating some serious hostility and Surrey thought he’d dismissed Compton when a fearsome delivery bounced up and knocked the left-hander’s helmet off his head and onto the stumps. However Compton was given not out after the umpires conferred, under an ECB regulation brought in before the 2021 season to encourage batters to wear helmets.
Surrey initially looked bewildered by the decision, but any tension was defused after coach Gareth Batty consulted the match referee Simon Hinks. “We’re all good,” Batty shouted at Overton, giving him the thumbs up. “Just do it again, chief.”
Overton followed up with five equally menacing deliveries, but after being checked out by medical staff Compton somehow survived the rest of the over, in more than one sense, only to be given out caught behind off Jacks in the next.
Jordan Cox then edged Worral to Ben Foakes for 12, leaving Kent in deep trouble on 116 for five at lunch.
Kent’s hopes of avoiding the follow on took a further hit when Overton bowled Darren Stevens for seven, ripping out his off stump and Jacks then removed George Linde, who was caught in the slips by Rory Burns for 26.
Milnes had made 13 when Colin de Grandhomme had him caught by Pope and the biggest home cheer of the afternoon came when Nathan Gilchrist avoided making his seventh consecutive duck when he hit the same bowler for three.
Any delight Gilchrist had at evading what would have been a first-class record faded when he was caught by Sam Curran off Jacks for five and Robinson’s defiance ended, along with Kent’s first innings, when he hit Overton to Jacks with the final ball before tea.
Kent badly needed to win a session and did so for arguably they first time in the match, with Compton and Crawley resisting for nearly two hours. At one point Sam Curran came into the attack, bowling spin, but the visitors were frustrated until Crawley played on to Jacks, leaving Milnes to bat through to the close.