LV County Championship - Division Two
Essex 370 (J S Foster 99, M J Walker 98, W D Parnell 4-78) & 155 (R H Joseph 6-55) v Kent 205 (W D Parnell 69) & 512-9 dec (D I Stevens 136 no, M van Jaarsveld 102, J C Tredwell 79, J B Hockley 72, Danish Kaneria 4-172)
Kent (18pts) beat Essex (7pts) by 192 runs
Robbie Joseph bowled Kent to an improbable 192-run triumph over Essex with less than four overs left on the final day at Chelmsford.
Essex collapsed to 155 all out in pursuit of a victory target of 348 with Antigua-born fast bowler Joseph claiming figures of 6-55.
Kent had been asked to follow on after being skittled for 205 on the second day before turning the match around in remarkable fashion.
Resuming on the final morning at 391-5 in their second innings, Darren Stevens and James Hockley extended their sixth-wicket stand to 166.
Hockley departed for 72, caught by Mark Pettini off Chris Wright's bowling, but Stevens finished unbeaten on 136 - his 15th first-class century - as Kent declared at 512-9.
Joseph and Wayne Parnell then ripped through Essex's top order to reduce them to 79-7 before a 72-run, eighth-wicket stand between Ryan ten Doeschate and David Masters (20) looked to guiding the hosts to safety late in the evening session.
But the last three wickets went down for just four runs in the space of 14 deliveries to hand Kent their first win of the season.
Masters (20) was caught at silly point off spinner James Tredwell (1-9) and in the next over ten Doeschate (36) was well taken at second slip by Martin van Jaarsveld off Parnell (3-56).
And Joseph sealed the victory with 22 balls left in the match when Stevens hung onto a marvellous catch at fourth slip to get rid of Kaneria.
Captain Martin van Jaarsveld led a Kent fightback with a century to leave the game wide open entering the final day.
The 34-year-old scored 102 while Darren Stevens and James Tredwell added half-centuries as Kent closed on day three at 391 for five, with a lead of 226.
They began the day still 111 in arrears but Tredwell and Van Jaarsveld dictated proceedings for over two hours in putting together a stand of 124 after Geraint Jones (45) fell before lunch.
Essex, however, only have themselves to blame for not breaking it earlier - Tredwell was put down by a diving Varun Chopra at backward point, a reprieve that allowed him to scamper a single to complete his fifty from 148 balls.
Then on 60, Tredwell was spilt by substitute Tim Phillips at first slip. His luck was to run out when he had made 79, including 10 fours and one six, when he was caught at first slip by Alastair Cook pushing forward at the leg-spin of Danish Kaneria.
By then Van Jaarsveld was into his stride, never afraid to take the aerial route, although one such drive just eluded the outstretched hand of Kaneria.
His century, from 127 balls, contained 14 fours before he pushed forward at paceman David Masters soon after the new ball was taken and was caught by James Foster.
But if Essex thought the departure of Van Jaarsveld would lead to rapid inroads into the innings, they were mistaken.
Stevens combined solid defence with some fine drives, displaying refreshing use of his feet against Kaneria as he completed his half-century with the help of six boundaries.
Stevens will go into the final day on 74, while James Hockley reached the close on 33 with their partnership already worth 79.
Kent are battling to avoid defeat against Essex after being bowled out for 205 and being forced to follow on 165 behind. They had reached 54 for one by the close.
Joe Denly's was the wicket to fall late in the day, dismissed by a superb diving catch at second slip by Tim Phillips, on the field as a substitute for Matt Walker.
Earlier, Kent's response in their first innings owed much to 19-year-old South African Wayne Parnell. After picking up four for 78 during the Essex first innings, he underlined his all-round qualities with an aggressive 69 that contained two sixes in an over against leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.
But half the Kent side were back in the pavilion with only 57 on the board and chances of a substantial recovery disappeared when skipper Martin van Jaarsveld was run out for 35 by Varun Chopra's direct hit from deep backward point with the total on 96.
Essex' pace and seam attack of David Masters, Wright and Maurice Chambers each picked up two wickets, as did Kaneria, while wicketkeeper James Foster took four catches to take his championship tally for the season to 21.
Essex, who had begun the morning session on 330 for seven, added a further 40, just over half of those coming from Kaneria who hit five fours in a quickfire 23 from 14 balls. Parnell took four wickets at a cost of 78 while Martin Saggers provided the main support with three for 45.
Matt Walker fell just short of a century against his former county as Essex closed day one against Kent on 330-7.
The experienced left-hander looked certain to reach three figures at Chelmsford before he was trapped lbw by Robbie Joseph for 98.
Kent would have been delighted to have finally seen the back of their old colleague having seen Martin van Jaarsveld put down a relatively simple
chance at second slip off Martin Saggers before he'd got off the mark.
Walker made the most of the let-off, putting on 194 with James Foster who reached the end of play on 95 not out.
England opener Alastair Cook made a rapid 41 at the top of the order but Essex lost their way late in the day, three wickets going down for just 11 runs.
South African Wayne Parnell claimed the wicket of Jaik Mickleburgh on his debut for Kent, who are without skipper Rob Key due to his participation in the England Lions' fixture against the West Indies.