Kent bat out day but follow on against Essex

Vitality County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day three)

Essex 591-7 dec: Cox 207, Snater 83*, Pepper 82, Elgar 77; Evison 2-93

Kent: 394: Denly 87, Finch 85, Parkinson 48, Compton 41; Critchley 5-88

Kent (3 pts) trail Essex (6 pts) by 197 runs

Match scorecard

Kent fought back on day three of their County Championship Division One clash with Essex at Canterbury, surviving until the final over of the day before being bowled out for 394.

But they will still be made to follow on in the morning after finishing 197 behind Essex on first innings.

Essex dominated on the first two days to rack up 591-7 declared. And Kent closed day two on 118-5, still 473 in arrears.

But former England man Joe Denly hit 87 hit, backed by 85 from Harry Finch, as Kent batted all day to boost their chances of securing a draw - and they will have to do so again on Monday.

Spinner Matt Critchley took 5-88 but Essex laboured without Sam Cook, who had pulled up injured on day two.

They also suffered a dropped chance when Finch was on four, pulled Matt Beard to the boundary but Critchley could not pull off a tumbling catch.

After Matt Parkinson had batted through the entire morning session with Denly, the nightwatchman was denied a maiden red-ball 50 when Jamie Porter trapped him lbw for 48.

The only other wicket to fall in the afternoon session came when Denly, who looked destined for a century, misjudged a Critchley delivery and was caught by Aaron Beard at long on.

Essex broke through when Joey Evison tried to sweep Tom Westley and was bowled for 29.

Westley then had Finch lbw and, with Wes Agar hurt after injuring his shoulder on day one, Arafat Bhuiyan was sent out with six overs remaining.

Grant Stewart played conservatively by his standards but still managed to dump Westley for six over cow corner, only for Critchley to bowl Bhuiyan with two scheduled overs remaining.

Agar needed to survive for three minutes to spare Kent an awkward over following on and he duly blocked out five balls.

But, with the field in, Stewart then blasted Simon Harmer for six in the day’s penultimate over before Critchley pinned Agar lbw with the first ball of the last over to set up a potentially fascinating final day.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network