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Dickson, Stevens and Gidman hit 50s as Kent build lead on day two

Thursday 4th August 2016

Kent’s beneficiary Darren Stevens top-scored with 81 as Kent built a lead on day two of a fascinating Specsavers County Championship tussle with Worcestershire.

Stevens admitted his disappointment after his side had closed on 397 for nine for an overall lead of 186 at the mid-point of the 165th Canterbury Cricket Week four-day fixture.

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“We’re disappointed with our day’s work to be fair. I got in, Dickson and Denly did too, but we all got out without going on to get a big score," said the former Leicestershire batsman.

“Yes, we’ve got a nice little lead, but we only wanted to be four or five wickets won at this stage. Personally I’m disappointed. I started counting down to my hundred and it proved a big mistake. It’ll be the last time I ever do that and I’m really gutted to miss out on three figures.

“If I were still there at the end of the day I’d be sitting pretty on 140 not out and the side would have a 220 lead. We should be in a stronger position.”

The 40-year-old all-rounder batted 142 minutes and hit 12 fours and a six which, in tandem with half-centuries by Sean Dickson and Will Gidman – the latter on loan from Nottinghamshire and on his Kent county championship debut – ensured that the hosts will go into day three in a fairly dominant position.

Resuming on their overnight score of 55 without loss in response to Worcestershire’s 211 all out, Kent lost three first session wickets as batsmen again struggled to bat long-term on a spicy Canterbury pitch.

Daniel Bell-Drummond, celebrating his 23rd birthday, added only seven to his first day score before becoming the first casualty of Ladies Day at the world’s oldest cricket festival.

The right-hander fenced a Kyle Abbott leg-cutter to second slip, where Ross Whiteley held onto the good catch diving to his left in front of first slip to make it 74 for one.

Joe Denly moved smoothly to 21 before having his off stump trimmed by a Charlie Morris yorker then Sam Northeast spooned a catch to cover off a leading edge off Ed Barnard.

At the other end Dickson, Kent’s right-handed opener, posted a 106-ball half-century with nine fours – his fourth 50 of the county championship campaign.

Having taken his side in at lunch on 152 for three, Dickson added only two to his interval score before chopping on against Ed Barnard to go for a well-made 77.

Sam Billings and Stevens then teamed up to add an attractive 40 runs inside 13 overs before Billings, on 33, edged an attempted cut to the keeper off the bowling of Charlie Morris with Kent still trailing by two on first innings.

Stevens and Alex Blake took the hosts into profit before Blake (9) lamely chipped to short mid-wicket off the bowling of Joe Leach with Kent seven short of their second batting bonus point.

Stevens marched on to a 67 ball 50 with six fours and a sixth, the 69th half-century of his career but only the fourth of this somewhat barren benefit summer.

Soon after tea and only 19 from is maiden ton of the summer Stevens slapped one to cover off the bowling of Joe Leach then James Tredwell gloved a half-hearted pull to the keeper to go for nine.

The Kent tail wagged however, as Gidman and Matt Coles combined to add 51 inside 14 overs before left-handed Coles holed out to cow corner.

Gidman was still unbeaten at the close on 54 not out, having posted his maiden Championship 50 for Kent from 86 balls including five fours.


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