JOE Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond both hit centuries as Kent survived a mid-morning scare to earn a draw with Somerset in the Vitality County Championship at Canterbury.

Kent were in trouble on 10 for two and again at 70 for three, until a partnership of 222 for the fourth wicket took the sting out of the contest and they closed on 290 for four declared.

Denly beat his partner to three figures, posting 110 from 142 balls including 11 fours and a six, while Bell-Drummond made 107 from 169, with 14 fours.

Earlier Kasey Aldridge hit 57 before Somerset were bowled out for 403, a lead of 119. Nathan Gilchrist had Kent’s best bowling figures with 64 for three.

The draw was the clear favourite at the start of day four and one “win predictor” app claimed Kent’s chances of winning were precisely zero.

This was unduly pessimistic: there was an admittedly improbable scenario where Somerset might have collapsed in pursuit of around 150, but if any side had a realistic chance it was the visitors.

They resumed on 374 for seven and immediately went on the attack. Aldridge, who was on 50 overnight, drove the first ball of the day for four before he was brilliantly caught at mid-wicket by Jack Leaning off Gilchrist.

Bell-Drummond then ran out Ned Leonard for one, throwing down the stumps from short mid on.

Jake Ball hit his first ball as a Somerset player for a six into the lower Frank Woolley Stand and a third batting point was secured when Josh Davey flicked Wes Agar to third man for a single, but the innings was wrapped up when Ball played on to Gilchrist.

Somerset clearly felt they had a chance as their batters sprinted for the dressing room and the more nervous home supporters were soon worried. Kent had a minimum 87 overs to navigate and both openers had gone in the first five.

Somerset’s hopes soared again when Leaning perished in the second over of the afternoon, bowled by Lewis Goldsworthy for 32, but Denly joined Bell-Drummond and quickly wiped out the deficit.

Denly was out in the final over when he edged Goldsworthy to Matt Renshaw in the slips, but with any hopes of a win for either side long gone, Kent declared at 4.50pm and the teams shook hands on a draw. Somerset take 15 points and Kent 12.