Tom Bailey's career-best condemns Kent to crushing 184-run defeat

Bell-Drummond's unbeaten 69 in vain as Lancashire turn tables after first-innings deficit

Lancashire 145 (Henry 5-45, Saini 3-63) and 436 for 9 dec (Bohannon 134, Wells 98, Jones 65*, Henry 4-82) beat Kent 270 (Leaning 90, Stewart 64, Denly 59, Bailey 6-64) and 127 (Bell-Drummond 69*, Bailey 5-46) by 184 runs

Lancashire completed an extraordinary comeback 20 minutes after tea on the final day at Emirates Old Trafford as Kent were bowled out for just 127 to hand the hosts a remarkable 184-run victory.

As the home players celebrated Tom Bailey’s career best match figures of 11 for 110 it seemed a long time ago that Lancashire had been dismissed for 145 on day one or when they had conceded a first-innings lead of 125 to the visitors at the end of day two.

But this Lancashire side are nothing if not determined and thanks to the likes of Josh Bohannon, Luke Wells and Rob Jones with the bat and Bailey, Will Williams and Washington Sundar with the ball they somehow dragged themselves back into the contest.

The question on everyone lips as the morning session begun was how long Lancashire would bat for and did they have a target in mind? George Lavelle promptly gave a hint when he came out swinging scoring a quick-fire 30 from 30 balls before gloving one from Nathan Gilchrist to Ollie Robinson.

From that point it was something of a procession with Matt Henry dispatching Luke Wood, Bailey and Williams cheaply with just 21 runs added to total as the New Zealander finished with 4 for 82 and Jones was left unbeaten on 65.

With Lancashire declaring on 436 for 9, Kent were left requiring a target of 312 runs to win from a minimum of 82 overs and must have wondered how on earth they had got themselves in that position after the first day’s play.

But if that was bad there was worse to come. After scoring a duck in the first innings, Zak Crawley’s Mancunian misery continued when he tried to leave a rising delivery from Bailey only to nick one through to Lavelle for four and leave Kent 6 for 1.

Less than 10 minutes later it was 6 for 2 as Ben Compton edged a brilliant delivery from Williams to Lavelle for two before the same bowler trapped Joe Denly in front for 0.

At 10 for 3 it was hard to see how Kent would recover despite Daniel Bell-Drummond’s defiance at the other end giving them something to cling to as they made it to lunch on 28 for 3.

It took until after lunch for stand-in skipper Steven Croft to turn to spin but it proved a wide decision with Sundar immediately getting turn and bounce on the day four pitch.

It was this combination that would do for Kent’s own temporary skipper Jack Leaning when he was adjudged to have feathered a Sundar delivery to Lavelle despite the batter’s angry and protracted insistence he was nowhere near the ball.

If there was any doubt about Leaning’s dismissal for 15, there was no decision needed for Jack Cox who fell to a brilliant turning delivery from Sundar that bowled the batter through the gate for one to leave Kent 74 for 5.

Robinson joined Bell-Drummond, who finish unbeaten on 69, at the crease and must have wondered what he had got himself into when he made the trip north to replace the covid-stricken Sam Billings.

But to his credit, Robinson showed some determination as 41 was added for the sixth wicket before he was lbw to Bailey for 21.

And that was pretty much it as far as Kent were concerned. Stewart edged Bailey to Lavelle without scoring to leave Lancashire needing three wickets after tea.

They didn’t have long to wait. Henry was stumped charging Sundar for three before Bailey bowled both Gilchrist and Navdeep Saini for 0 and suddenly Kent had lost three wickets for one run in around 20 minutes and with it the game as Lancashire were left relishing their second successive victory from having a deficit of over 100 runs after the first innings.