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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Kent penalised for green wicket
County Championship D1, Maidstone, day two (stumps): Gloucestershire 183 & 79-7v Kent 204

Phil Weston loses his middle stump
Phil Weston was the latest to suffer at Maidstone
Gloucestershire were left facing a heavy defeat with a day to spare despite bowling Kent out for 204 at seamer-friendly Maidstone.

And an ECB panel deemed the green pitch of sufficiently poor quality to dock Kent eight Championship points.

Mark Hardinges claimed 5-51, his maiden five-wicket haul for the visitors, who were then 31 behind on first innings.

But they crashed to 79-7 by stumps, ahead by just 58. Darren Stevens took 3-13 with his medium pace.

Gloucestershire added four to their overnight 178-9 in their first innings. Stevens then top-scored for the hosts with 35.

The ECB panel was made up for former Sussex and England seamer Tony Pigott, ex-Lancashire skipper David Hughes and former Surrey groundsman Harry Brind.

"After interviewing the umpires, captains and coaches of both teams and the groundsman, the panel decided that the pitch had demonstrated excessive seam movement and should therefore be rated 'poor'," said an ECB statement.

Kent have 24 hours to launch an appeal and, if they proceed, a hearing will be convened within seven days.

Kent chief executive Paul Millman expressed his shock at the penalty, saying the club will consider an appeal.

And he was full of sympathy for groundsman Tony Saunders and the team.

"We'll give it due consideration in the cold light of day and decide whether we're going to appeal.

"It's a very challenging prospect to prepare wickets, particularly at grounds that aren't regular first-class venues," he said.

Kent bowlers enjoy green wicket
01 Jun 05 |  Counties


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