Keogh century ensures Northants get the better of opening draw with Kent
Rob Keogh scored his 10th first-class century as Northants' opening LV= Insurance County Championship clash of the season against Kent ended in a draw.
Keogh’s 124 from 280 balls, allied with Ricardo Vasconcelos's century the da before, saw the County through to maximum batting points and ensured a solid and satisfying start their Group 3 campaign.
The 29-year-old batted a shade over six hours and hit 12 fours in his innings, and he now has one more Northants century to his name than both current coach David Ripley and former skipper Alex Wakely.
Keogh’s effort ensured Northants raised their fifth batting point off the final ball of the 110th over before they were finally dismissed for 434, 21 in arrears of Kent’s first innings total of 455.
Harry Podmore proved the pick of the visitors’ attack with four for 77.
England man Zak Crawley was left unbeaten on 19 as Kent reached 42-1 in their second innings before snow showers closed in to end proceedings.
The combination of a slow pitch and 50-odd overs lost to the weather meant the final day was always likely to be about accumulating bonus points and so it proved, with Northants resuming on their overnight 301 for five.
Kent signalled they had settled for a draw by leaving veteran Darren Stevens out of the bowling attack despite the new ball being just two overs old, protecting his 44-year-old’s limbs for more promising match situations.
Adam Rossington showed early intent with two fours in an over off Matthew Milnes, this despite appearing troubled by a finger injury sustained when keeping wicket at the back end of the Kent innings.
The partnership reached 85 before Grant Stewart bowled Rossington for 35 with a beauty which beat the outside of the bat.
Keogh moved sedately to his hundred in 302 minutes, meaning Northants still needed 28 from four overs to make maximum batting points.
A game within a game ensued during which both Keogh and Tom Taylor broke their bats, but a crashed a four through the covers by the former and a scrambled bye off the last ball of the 110th got the job done.
Podmore ended Keogh’s vigil caught at midwicket, before claiming the scalps of Gareth Berg and Ben Sanderson with successive balls.
Bell-Drummond’s hope for time in the middle didn’t materialise when Sanderson pinned him in front for the second time in the match.
Snow sent the players to an early tea and returned soon afterwards before a draw was agreed.
Northants 434 (Vasconcelos 154, Keogh 124) drew with Kent 455 (Buck 3-84) & 42-1
Northants 15pts; Kent 14pts