County Championship: Northamptonshire see off Kent at Canterbury

Last updated: 3rd May 2013  

Steven Crook Northants 2013

Steven Crook: Two wickets and a run out in Kent's second innings

trent Copeland Northants 2013

Trent Copeland: Match figures of 10-113 against Kent

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Northamptonshire maintained their fantastic start to the Division Two campaign by completing a seven-wicket victory over Kent inside three days at Canterbury.

The table-topping Steelbacks had Australian seamer Trent Copeland (5-42) to thank for their third win in four games as he bagged his second five-wicket haul in the match to help skittle Kent for just 135 in their second innings.

His match-haul of 10-113 meant Northants required just 104 for victory and David Ripley's men eased past the total with just three wickets lost.

The unbeaten Steelbacks, who won just four matches in all competitions last summer, leave Canterbury with 22 points, while Kent, who remain winless, collected just five.

Resuming on their overnight score of six without loss - a deficit of 26 runs - Kent suffered a nightmare first session in which they lost six wickets for 64 runs and saw top-line batsman Michael Powell retire injured with an arm injury.

Resilience

The home collapse started in the fourth over of the day when out-of-sorts opening bat Sam Northeast was caught on the crease by a full off-cutter from the impressive Copeland to go leg before for three.

Rob Key (nine) followed in similar fashion in Copeland's next over then young Kent hope Daniel Bell-Drummond was run out for four by Steven Crook's direct hit from cover point.

Kolpak all-rounder Brendan Nash nicked to the wicketkeeper to give Copeland a third scalp and soon after Powell retired with an arm injury - the legacy of a blow he took in the field when at short leg on Thursday.

Northamptonshire sensed blood and rammed home their initiative with two more first session scalps as Crook snared James Tredwell leg before without scoring and then bowled Matt Coles (six) after the youngster needlessly swished across the line.

After the interval Kent showed some resilience through Geraint Jones who counter-attacked for a 72-ball 50 with seven fours, but it was all too little too late.

Home debutant Calum Haggett (12) was caught behind off Copeland then Jones, on 57 for his near two-hour stay, played across one to fall leg before to David Willey.

Copeland secured the match ball for his 10th wicket by having Mark Davies snaffled in the cordon and Willey re-arranged the stumps of last man Charlie Shreck to dismiss the hosts in a shade over three hours.

The visitors lost their top three in the pursuit, but Alex Wakely (14 not out) teamed up with former Kent all-rounder Andrew Hall (27 not out) in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand worth 40 that clinched the win by 5pm.

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