Adam Rossington’s first half-century since returning to action was not enough to prevent Kent continuing their chase for promotion from Specsavers County Championship Division Two.

After coming close in Durham last week the wicket-keeper made 56 in Canterbury as Northamptonshire sought to chase down a 320-run target for victory. Rossington’s excellent innings held up Kent’s bowlers for almost three hours and featured in a seventh wicket stand of 48 with Nathan Buck.

Northamptonshire began the day on 56-3, but while it was always going to be a stiff challenge for the visitors the first session was nevertheless hard-fought, Kent needing to use six bowlers in the two hours.

Northamptonshire added 113 runs in the session, but lost Richard Levi, Alex Wakely and Saif Zaib in the process, too. Wakely’s was a particularly unlucky dismissal, the captain edging on to his pad while attempting to force the last ball of Ivan Thomas’s first over through mid-wicket, only to see it lob up for the bowler to catch the rebound in his follow-through.

Zaib’s dismissal brought the Rossington-Buck partnership, and Kent were forced to regroup at lunch before Matt Henry continued his outstanding game with the ball to break the stand.

Brett Hutton also offered lower order resistance, with 21, but the end came quickly once Rossington was eighth out, pulling Harry Podmore to Heino Kuhn, who was stationed as one of two short mid wickets.

Richard Gleeson was then caught behind off Joe Denly’s leg breaks to go for three and Brett Hutton was last out for 21 – stumped off Denly, who finished with 2 for 7.

Henry’s 4-72 gave the New Zealand fast bowler match figures of 11 for 114 and 61 wickets for the season at an average of 14.85 and anchored a win for Kent which moves them back into second place in the Division Two table behind leaders Warwickshire.

Northamptonshire now return home to the County Ground next week after two weeks which have seen the team dominate Durham at the Riverside before slipping to defeat to a high-flying Kent outfit.

Play against Derbyshire starts at 10:30am on Monday morning.