|LV= County Championship Division One, Clean Slate Headingley, Leeds (day four)|
|Kent 291 & 393: Compton 93, Stewart 90, Robinson 85*; Patterson 5-54|
|Yorkshire 571: Brook 194, Malan 152; Gilchrist 3-114|
|Yorkshire (16 pts) drew with Kent (11 pts)|
Yorkshire were denied the opportunity to chase 114 in the final 21 overs of a pulsating final day by bad light as Kent secured a County Championship draw at Headingley.
Umpires Graham Lloyd and Steve O’Shaughnessy halted play before the Yorkshire chase could start, following impressive innings from Kent trio Ben Compton (93), Grant Stewart (90) and Ollie Robinson (85 not out).
Kent looked to be in safe waters at 384-6 in their second innings, a lead of 104 and time running out.
But Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson inspired a burst of four wickets for nine runs in 24 balls. He claimed three of them to finish with 5-54 in 29.3 overs, only for the 38-year-old’s return to go unrewarded.
Credit should go to Kent, though, as they avoided a third defeat in four games and denied their hosts a second win in three to start 2022.
Opener Compton and wicketkeeper Robinson played similarly doughty innings, while injured all-rounder Stewart was far more aggressive as he struggled with a hamstring injury and required a runner.
Kent started the day on 118-2, trailing by 162.
Compton is now the top division’s leading run-scorer with 560 but fell before lunch to leave the score at 182-5.
Stewart and Robinson then shared 166 for the seventh wicket, a Kent record in matches versus Yorkshire, either side of tea having come together at 218-6, a deficit of 62 with 56 overs still to bowl.
The pair dug in initially before Stewart opened his shoulders, with his 58-ball fifty coming almost twice as quickly as his partner’s.
Kent reached tea at 312-6, leading by 32 with 35 overs remaining in the game.
And they all but doubled the lead in the first two overs of the evening, including Stewart hitting two sixes to take the lion’s share of 20 off a Jordan Thompson over.
More runs were to follow with Stewart’s 91-ball innings featuring four sixes, all either slog-swept or pulled.
But he was run out clipping to mid-on before Patterson trapped Matt Milnes lbw and had Nathan Gilchrist and Matt Quinn caught at mid-off to raise home hopes of a first 24-point haul since the final game of 2018.
Instead, they had to settle for 16 to Kent’s 11.
Yorkshire’s bid for victory, meanwhile, was hampered by the loss of Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf, who was unable to bowl in the second innings with a side issue.
Play was watched by new Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel and dignitaries of one of the club’s new principal partners, Clean Slate Studioz, including owner Karnesh Ssharma – the brother-in-law of India batter Virat Kohli.
An overcast sky hung above Headingley for the majority of the day, with the floodlights turned on as early as the second over, so it was no real surprise that bad light played its part.
Yorkshire’s first breakthrough came via Patterson, who removed opposing captain Jack Leaning – his close friend and former team-mate – for 36.
When Leaning under-edged behind attempting to leave alone in the day’s sixth over, the 56th of the innings, Kent were 126-3 with a deficit of 154.
George Hill then struck twice with his canny medium-pacers before Patterson’s late intervention.
But the match was deemed a draw just before 17:45 BST, half an hour after bad light initially intervened.
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Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson:
“Especially with the way things panned out for us last week, to get ourselves in a position and then not to be able to get across the line, it was very frustrating.
“We were a man down with Haris not able to bowl in the second innings. But, again, the approach of the guys, they worked very hard. I’m very proud of the way they fought to the end.
“Unfortunately, one great big cloud came over and put a stop to everything. We would have had a go in 10 overs. We knew what we had to do. We’d have still backed ourselves to have a right good go.”
Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson:
“It was a bit of frustration that, having wrestled the game back into our hands, we gave it away a little bit.
“It’s kind of been the story of our season so far and has put a bit of a sour note on it. But I guess you can’t be too disappointed to come away with 11 points after them scoring the best part of 600.
“It was just a case of digging deep with Grant Stewart. As soon as Grant starts to get a bit defendy and pokey at balls, he starts to get into a bit of trouble. The ways he plays is looking to be positive – almost fighting fire with fire.”
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.