Matthew Walker stole the limelight from Andrew Flint-off with a superb 197 as Kent took control against Lancashire on the second day of their Liverpool Victoria County Championship match at Canterbury.
The diminutive Kent batsman, who began his innnings at 56 for three on the first evening, batted for seven and a half hours in blistering heat and enabled his side to total 440, a first-innings lead of 204. Flintoff took two for 45 from 19 accurate overs before Lancashire lost openers Mark Chilton and Iain Sutcliffe cheaply. They closed on 56 for two, still 166 runs adrift.
Kent had resumed on 132 for four and Walker, 32 not out, was soon into his stride alongside West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo. The pair added 137 before Bravo (76) was snared by medium-pacer Nathan Astle at slip.
Sajid Mahmood inducing poor shots from Niall O'Brien, Min Patel and Tyron Henderson, to take three wickets in 20 balls. But Walker and Amjad Khan added a splendid 121, a record for the ninth wicket between the two teams. Khan was out for 38 when he drove loosely to Flintoff at cover off Gary Keedy at 422 for nine.
His dismissal left Walker with only Martin Saggers to prop up the other end and, after a flurry of boundaries as he sought a double hundred, he slipped and fell when attempting a second run and was run out by half the length of the pitch.
At Southgate, Sussex captain Chris Adams put his frontrunners in charge on the first day against Middlesex with 101 not out in his 300th first-class match.
The former England batsman steered his team to 374 for five, hitting 12 fours and three sixes in a 157-ball innings. Other valuable contributions came from Mike Yardy (97), Murray Goodwin (69), Matt Prior (43) and Luke Wright (41no) after Chris Silverwood had dismissed both openers cheaply.
After early blows, Goodwin and Yardy built Sussex a solid platform with a stand of 159 for the third wicket.
Adams then took control, reaching 50 from 65 balls. He hit one six off Jamie Dalrymple which resulted in the ball going missing. Dalrymple, touted as a possible Test player, did not get the ball to turn significantly and conceded 102 runs from 23 overs, his only success being Prior attempting a slog sweep.
Perhaps mindful of the need for maximum bowling points, Adams consolidated after tea and reached his hundred shortly before the close.
Yardy gave a sharp chance to Ed Joyce at short leg on 27 but he and Goodwin were virtually untroubled until Goodwin was run out shortly after lunch by Eoin Morgan's direct hit. Yardy, after a 193-ball stay, nicked Johann Louw behind and Prior had a couple of lives early in his innings.