County cricket’s all-time highest partnership came to a disappointing end on Monday when the new rule introduced this season halted Kent duo Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning’s stunning stand. But the stand was enough for Kent to thrash Sussex in Canterbury.
Both Cox and Leaning scored unbeaten double centuries while sharing the record-breaking partnership of 423 runs for the second wicket. Cox was unbeaten on 238 while Leaning remained not out on 220. They scored at almost 4.5 runs an over during their 95-over partnership. The stand was studded with an incredible 56 fours and three sixes.
Both players registered their maiden first-class centuries for Kent. 19-year old Cox is a wicketkeeper-batsman who was playing only his fifth first-class game while Leaning had moved to Kent from Yorkshire during the off-season.
Cox and Leaning’s heroics with the bat helped Kent post an incredible 530 for 1 in reply to Sussex’s first innings total of 332. The 423-run stand is the county’s highest partnership ever and the third-highest unbroken second-wicket stand in the history of first-class cricket. The duo could have added more runs to their already huge partnership if not for the new rule that has been introduced for this season that caps each team’s first innings at 120 overs.
With the county season delayed by four months due to COVID-19, the regular County Championship has been replaced by a shortened red-ball competition, the Bob Willis Trophy. In another change, the number of overs per day has been reduced to 90 from 96 too.
Meanwhile, Kent went on to thrash Sussex by an innings and 25 runs. After Cox and Leaning’s double centuries, veteran Darren Stevens made his mark with the ball. The 44-year old took 5 for 50 to help Kent bowl out Sussex for 173.