LV County Championship - Division One
Trent Bridge - Day Four
Nottinghamshire 202 & 279 (C M W Read 88, M J Wood 58, R McLaren 6-75) v Kent 238 (Yasir Arafat 67, R McLaren 57, R J Sidebottom 5-55) & 244-7 (M van Jaarsveld 63)
Kent (18pts) beat Nottinghamshire (4pts) by 3 wkts
Division One leaders Nottinghamshire suffered their first defeat of the season after Kent completed a three-wicket win on the final day at Trent Bridge.
Kent began day four requiring a further 115 runs for victory with six wickets in hand, and despite suffering two setbacks in successive balls the visitors clawed their way over the line with three wickets remaining.
Stand-in skipper Martin van Jaarsveld made a valuable 63 for his side before he and Geraint Jones (0) were dismissed in quick succession by Ryan Sidebottom.
Despite the brief wobble Notts failed to stamp their authority on the innings - South African Justin Kemp (19) was picked up by Charlie Shreck in the only other wicket to fall.
Another solid eighth wicket stand between match winners Ryan McLaren (37no) and Yasir Arafat (36no) ensured Kent claimed 18 points and inflicted a first County Championship defeat of the season on Notts.
Ryan McLaren continued to show his value with both bat and ball as he ripped through the Nottinghamshire batting order to leave Kent just 115 runs away from victory at Trent Bridge.
The South African all-rounder claimed second innings figures of 6-75 as Notts relinquished the opportunity to notch up a daunting lead heading into the final day.
It was once again left up to skipper Chris Read (88) to rescue his side as he along with Matt Wood (58) and Mark Ealham (39) were the only home batsman to come out of the second innings with any credit.
Kent took the final two wickets of Ealham and Ryan Sidebottom without any further runs being added to reduce Notts to 279 all out - leaving the visitors requiring 244 in their final innings to claim a victory in the East Midlands.
Paceman Stuart Broad gave the England selectors a timely reminder of his quality with the ball as he took 3-27 to dismiss James Tredwell (5), Joe Denly (35) and Matt Walker (20).
Darren Stevens (20) also failed to build on his strong start, but stand-in skipper Martin van Jaarsveld will return to the crease on Saturday morning unbeaten on 45 as he and South African compatriot Justin Kemp (1no) aim to successfully chase down the 115 further runs required for victory.
England seamer Ryan Sidebottom continued to shine on day two at Trent Bridge, finishing with 5-55 as Kent were bowled out for 238.
After taking three wickets on Wednesday, he made short work of opener James Tredwell, with trademark late swing to beat a forward defensive shot and clip the left-hander's off bail.
Sidebottom, who narrowly failed in a manful attempt to pull off a one-handed diving catch at long-leg from Robbie Joseph's hook at Stuart Broad, returned to complete his five-wicket haul - again with the third ball of a new spell when the number 10 edged to Adam Voges slip.
But the Nottinghamshire seam attack foundered on rearguard half-centuries from Ryan McLaren (57) and Yasir Arafat (67), as Kent took a narrow first innings lead.
Nottinghamshire therefore had to wipe out an unexpected, albeit manageable, deficit - but by stumps on day two had already raced to 106-2.
Opener Will Jefferson was gone before Nottinghamshire were back in credit - Ryan McLaren pinning him lbw on off-stump.
But number three Mark Wagh hit his first ball from McLaren through the off-side for four as runs flowed with a conspicuous ease after tea.
By the close, Wagh had gone lbw to an Yasir Arafat cutter, but Wood kept finding the boundary on his way to a maiden half-century for the hosts, who have a lead of 70 in what has become an intriguing contest.
Ryan Sidebottom warmed up for England's first Test against New Zealand in fine fashion as he took three wickets in 19 balls during a devastating opening spell which saw Kent end the day on 33-4.
The Nottinghamshire star finished the day with figures of 3-8 from six overs after Kent had earlier reduced the hosts to a first innings total of 202.
No Notts player went past 50, however significant contributions from Adam Voges (43), Mark Wagh (42) and Samit Patel (39) ensured the home side crept past 200.
Martin Saggers and all-rounder Darren Stevens starred with the ball as the pair claimed figures of 3-54 and 3-42 respectively.
All 10 Nottinghamshire batsmen were out caught as ball dominated the bat from the first over on a gloriously sunny day, reinforcing Trent Bridge's reputation as a swing bowler's paradise.
Looking to finish the final session unscathed, openers Joe Denly and James Tredwell took to the crease as England chairman of selectors Geoff Miller took his seat in the stands.
Sidebottom quickly reminded Miller and everyone inside Trent Bridge of his undoubted class as he found extravagant swing with his first delivery which crashed into Denly's middle stump, and then removed Matt Walker and Stevens in his third over.
Charlie Shreck also got in on the act to dismiss stand-in skipper Martin van Jaarsveld leg before wicket as Kent resume play on Thursday on 33-4.