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Day 4 of 4
Match Drawn

Northants vs Kent

County Championship: Landmark Sales gives wind to Northamptonshire promotion bid

Landmark: David Sales passed 14,000 first-class runs as Northamptonshire's promotion bid continues

David Sales took his first-class run tally beyond 14,000 as Northamptonshire enhanced their promotion bid on the final day of their Division Two clash against Kent.

The effervescent batsman made a superb 110 from 192 balls, while all-rounder James Middlebrook also contributed a century as the side ended in a stalemate at the County Ground.

Middlebrook added 22 runs to his overnight total of 87, taking him to a season-best batting performance after registering a career-best bowling effort of 6-78 in Kent's total of 418 all out.

The hosts claimed maximum batting bonus points as they declared on 431-5 as all of the top four passed 50 with Steven Peters scoring 68 on day three and Alex Wakely adding 55 on the final day.

Friday's performance means Northamptonshire require just five points at Worcestershire next week to guarantee the second promotion spot; while rivals Essex are 20 points adrift after they drew with Glamorgan at Chelmsford.

Northamptonshire begun day four on 183-1 after Middlebrook, Peters and Sales had put them in a commanding position.

Middlebrook had looked extremely accomplished on his way to an unbeaten 87 the previous evening and he brought up his century from 168 balls.

Centurion

But the 36-year-old, registering his highest score of the season, eventually fell for 109, edging Adam Ball's delivery into the hands of Sam Billings at slip.

Sales continued to fly, though, and made his way to the half-century mark with a single off Darren Stevens.

Wakely made the most of a let-off - Ball failing to hold on from a Stevens delivery - as he continued to smash the ball around the ground, racking up a well-earned 50 in 59 balls.

He was to perish for 55, Charlie Shreck trapping the Northamptonshire man lbw, but not before Sales had steadily made his way to a century, his 29th in first-class cricket.

The 35-year-old was to depart soon after as Shreck, who finished the innings with figures of 2-80, had him caught by Billings.

Kent were unable to prevent Northamptonshire from collecting full batting bonus points however, as Rob Keogh's unbeaten 32 and Andrew Hall's 35 got them past the 400 mark.

Hall was dismissed by Ben Harmison after tea but Keogh (32 not out) and Matt Spriegel, who finished unbeaten on eight, saw their side past Kent's total before the declaration came.

Match Details

Date
17th - 20th Sep 2013
Toss
Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bowl.
Venue
County Ground, Northampton
Umpires
N G C Cowley, N L Bainton

northants BATTING CARD

Batsman R
S.D. Peters c Bell-Drummond b Davies 68
J.D. Middlebrook c Billings b Ball 109
D.J.G. Sales c Billings b Shreck 110
A.G. Wakely lbw Shreck 55
R.I. Keogh Not out 32
A.J. Hall c Key b Harmison 35
M.N.W. Spriegel Not out 8
Extras 4nb, 4b, 6lb 14
Total Declared, 122.4 Overs 431 - 5
Full Batting Card

kent BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
M. Davies 28 4 84 1
C.E. Shreck 26 3 80 2
D.I. Stevens 26 5 100 0
A.J. Ball 14 1 70 1
J.C. Tredwell 20 2 64 0
B.W. Harmison 8 1 21 1
R.W.T. Key 0.4 0 2 0
Full Bowling Card