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Darren Stevens takes 500th wicket for Kent before big Leicestershire stand

Darren Stevens took his 500th competitive wicket for Kent before an unbroken partnership of 159 frustrated Kent.

The weather and Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove and former Kent batsman Neil Dexter frustrated Kent's attempts to pick up more bonus points after Mitch Claydon's brisk innings helped claim a second batting bonus point.

Speaking at stumps on day three, Claydon said: “Darren Stevens, who has played 20 years of county cricket, said it was as cold as he’s ever been on a cricket pitch.

"The lads had two pairs of trousers on, five tops including two jumpers, woolly hats, and it was pretty horrible.

“We’ve waited so long to actually get out there and bowl, and we were probably a little bit too eager to be honest.

"Mark Cosgrove played beautifully, and it’s a great cricket pitch for this time of year, their groundsman deserves full credit. But we can turn up tomorrow, take a couple of wickets and get into them.”

The snow showers had forced the players to leave the pitch three times before lunch. Resuming on 233-8, Kent took their score on to 255 before Claydon’s attempted hook at a Zak Chappell bouncer gave Cosgrove a simple catch at mid-on.

Chappell, a 19-year-old fast bowler, uprooted Calum Haggett’s middle and off stumps to end the visitors’ first innings.

Leicestershire’s reply did not begin well, Angus Robson was caught behind by wicketkeeper Adam Rouse off the bowling of Matt Coles for a duck.

Dexter, on his home debut for the Foxes, hit his first two balls to the boundary, but Kent struck again when Stevens produced a perfect out-swinger to have Paul Horton caught behind, leaving Leicestershire on 15-2.

Cosgrove started well, however, crashing Coles for consecutive boundaries through the off-side before the interval – and better was to follow.

Cosgrove raced to 99 not out off just 106 deliveries, hitting 19 boundaries, before the day’s fourth snow shower brought the afternoon session to a premature end.

Sleet and further flurries of snow meant the players were unable to get back out at all after tea.

Dexter, playing more steadily but with increasing certainty on his home debut, was unbeaten on 57, his first half-century since joining Leicestershire from Middlesex.

It was an impressive response from the home team, after they had lost both openers before lunch with only 15 runs on the board after earlier bowling Kent out for 264 – a total that Cosgrove and Dexter’s strokeplay made to look increasingly inadequate as their partnership grew.

The icy wind and single figure temperatures made conditions very difficult for the Kent bowlers, but Cosgrove seized on any delivery that was off line or short of length, mixing power with delicacy as he raced towards three figures.