Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman was understandably disappointed by his side’s second reverse, but praised the overall character and some individual performances over the three days.
After setting the visitors a nominal victory target of 409, Sam Northeast’s Kent coasted home with a day and 28 balls to spare after dismissing the visitors for 239 second time to win by 169 runs.
Godleman said: “The first 90 minutes of the match was disappointing in that we conceded too many runs, but the way in which the group stuck together and fought our way back into the game, not once, but twice, was really pleasing to see.
“Moving forward I’d like to think we can learn from this and next time we arrive at the opposition’s ground and out them in, that we’ll start much better than we did here.
“We also saw come good batting performances here from Wayne Madsen and today, from Gary Wilson who was really unlucky to miss out on his ton. He showed guts, determination and great skill, which is Gary to a tee, and I’m disappointed for him that he couldn’t make three figures.”
As for Kent’s new head coach, Matt Walker, he has yet to taste defeat since taking over the helm from Jimmy Adams. He said: “We targeted at the turn of the year that we needed to start the season better as we haven’t done that in the past five or six years, so to get three from three is great.
“This was a different type of game to the previous two, a sporting wicket and we didn’t have this one all our own way, but we’ve battled through it and come out with more good points in the bank.
“We wanted to improve out resilience and ruthlessness as a team and I’m not sure that last year we would have fronted up as well as we have in this type of game.
“We were up against it on a number of occasions over the three days and somehow, somewhere, people stood up and were counted. That character has come from a few different sources in the past three weeks, but today it was the turn of Stevo, James Harris and Adam Rouse’s. Then, when we get a grip on the game, certainly with the ball, we tend to not let go – and that’s what impressed me the most today.”