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Claydon claims five wickets as Kent dismiss Worcestershire on day one

Sam Billings became only the second Kent wicketkeeper to take seven catches in an innings while paceman Mitch Claydon bagged his best championship figures for the county as the hosts dominated the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Worcestershire.

Having bundled the second-placed visitors out for 211 inside 74 overs, Kent went in at the close on 55 without loss to trail by 156 runs going into the second day of this 165th Canterbury Week match.

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In the 80 minutes through to stumps Kent’s openers Daniel Bell-Drummond (30*) and Sean Dickson (19*) suffered few alarms and will go into the second day with power to add.

After a midday start, permitted under ECB regulations following Kent's final Royal London Cup qualifying game at Hove on Tuesday evening, the hosts elected to bowl first after winning the toss at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Visiting openers Daryl Mitchell and George Rhodes were given a stern examination by Kent’s new ball pair of Matt Coles and Darren Stevens who conceded only one run off the bat in the opening seven overs.

Emergency opener Rhodes finally got underway after 43 minutes and 27 balls faced when he nudged a single off Stevens through backward point off a thick outside edge.

Mitchell became the only casualty of the morning session when he followed a Matt Coles leg-cutter to edge behind as a combative first session ended with the visitors on 63 for one.

Kent bossed the mid-session claiming six wickets – four of them during Claydon’s 20-ball purple patch of four for nine.

Resuming on their lunchtime score of 63 for one, Worcestershire lost Tom Fell for 34, George Rhodes for a stoical 16, Tom Kohler-Cadmore for three, Ross Whiteley (6) and Ben Cox (5)

Having added six to his lunchtime score, Fell was squared up on the back-foot by Matt Coles to be caught behind, then Rhodes's 160-minute stay as emergency opener ended when he pushed at one from Mitch Claydon to also edge behind.

Billings claimed his fourth catch of the day when Kohler-Cadmore gloved an attempted hook shot against a Claydon bouncer.

Ten runs on, left-handed Whiteley drove hard at Claydon only to be caught in the gulley by on-loan Nottinghamshire all-rounder Will Gidman, two-handed and diving away to his left. Claydon then enticed Cox into a rash shot outside off that resulted in a fifth catch for Billings.

Billings made it six when Joe Leach (16) nicked a push-drive against Gidman, but Joe Clarke lightened Worcestershire’s gloom by raising his 81-ball 50 with seven fours just before tea.

After the interval Ed Barnard (25) gave off-spinner James Tredwell the charge to lose middle stump, then Kyle Abbott drove hard at Claydon to be caught behind and spark further Kentish celebration.

Claydon’s five for 42 were his best since joining from Durham in 2013 while Billings joined Steve Marsh as the only Kent gloveman to have taken seven or more catches in an innings.

Tredwell wrapped the innings up, having Clarke caught at slip for a top-scoring 69 from 124 balls faced.


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Mitch Claydon took 5/42 today

A video posted by Kent Cricket (@kentcr1cket) on