Cook’s season’s best gives Kent the lead in Beckenham

Tuesday 30th June 2009

Simon Cook finished his 11.1 over stint with five for 22 against Gloucestershire

Kent v Gloucestershire, LV County Championship Division 2, day two close, Beckenham.
By Mark Pennell
KENT seamer Simon Cook posted his best figures of the season to date to help dismiss leaders Gloucestershire for only 166 in Beckenham, after which Martin van Jaarsveld cemented another uncertain batting performance with his second 50 of the game as Kent went in at stumps on 149 for six in their second innings – for an overall lead of 214.
Cook bowled unchanged from the North End of the Worsley Bridge Road ground to claim five for 22, his seventh five-for since joining from Middlesex, to help secure a shock 65-run first innings lead as the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 97 runs.
The right-armer found the perfect length for the hard surface here and did just enough off the seam to have four caught by keeper or slips while also snaring Stephen Snell leg before with a good length in-cutter.
Resuming on their overnight score of 69 for two, there seemed little or no indication that the second division leaders would be dismissed soon after lunch.
Kent“s first breakthrough of the morning came after eight overs when, with only his third ball of the day, James Tredwell enticed Alex Gidman (28) down the track for a lofted drive that picked out Darren Stevens diving to his left at wide mid-off.
Tredwell struck again with the total on 101 when Kadeer Ali (27) again advanced down the pitch, but the right hander opted to push defensively with bat and pad together offering a bat-pad chance to silly mid-off. Martin van Jaarsveld, under the helmet, knocked the ball up with his right hand and then caught it two-handed.
Simon Cook“s introduction at the North End helped break an all Kiwi partnership between James Franklin and Craig Spearmen when left-handed Franklin (7) nicked one going across him to Justin Kemp at first slip.
Cook struck again in his next over by trapping wicketkeeper Stephen Snell lbw for nought, the right-hander attempted to clip through mid-wicket and paid the price when he missed.
After lunch top-scorer Craig Spearman (47) nicked to second slip off Cook who, four overs later, then had Gemaal Hussain caught behind when driving airily.
Vikram Banerjee obligingly opened the face of his bat when pushing at one from Azhar Mahmood to steer the ball low to second slip then Cook polished it off by having Jonathan Lewis caught at slip off a top-edged pull.
Batting again by 2.30pm Kent soon lost opener Rob Key (12) who was caught on the crease by a Steven Kirby off-cutter, the same bowler then had Geraint Jones (4) caught at second slip after the right-hander nicked an attempted drive to make it 37 for two.
Sam Northeast (30), called up for next week“s England Under-19 Test series against Bangladesh, went leg before to a Kirby yorker then Darren Stevens (3) nicked a push-drive against Vikram Banerjee to the keeper.
That brought together fellow-Proteas“ Martin van Jaarsveld (62) and Justin Kemp (25*), who added a fluent 55 for the fifth-wicket before van Jaarsveld, the only man to pass 50 in this game to date, heaved across the line against Kirby and top-edged to keeper Snell to give Kirby four for 25.
Five overs from the close Azhar Mahmood (4) swished across the line against Banerjee for the second time in as many days to hoist a catch to mid-on and bring in night watchman Amjad Khan.