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Essex in command at Tunbridge Wells

Tuesday 16th June 2009

Justin Kemp top-scored with 36 from 93 balls in Kent’s first innings
Kent v Essex LV County Championship, Tunbridge Wells day two.
By Mark Pennell
KENT reduced Essex to 109 for three by the mid-point of their Tunbridge Wells Festival Week championship clash but the visitors remain in command having already extended their overall lead to 266.
Simon Cook bagged two for 19 and Amjad Khan dismissed Jason Gallian, yet Essex still look set to post a daunting last innings target for their unbeaten hosts.
Batting again soon after lunch, Essex lost Gallian when he drove over a quick, full-length ball from Khan to lose his off stump.
Cook then had namesake Alastair Cook (30) caught behind when he chased one going across his body then the same bowler accounted for Matt Walker when he nicked an attempted run down through to Geraint Jones.
Earlier, Essex, despite securing a first innings lead of 157, decided against enforcing the follow on as they did to their cost in the corresponding game at Chelmsford back on May 1.
Kent lost their last four wickets for 17 runs after lunch and that after a seventh-wicket stand between James Tredwell (28) and top-scorer Justin Kemp (36) had added 56 in 18 overs to double the home total.
The partnership came to an end in the 42nd over when James Tredwell pushed down late on a full-length ball from Graham Napier to lose his off stump.
Ryan McLaren, with his score on a single, fenced at a lifter from Ryan ten Doeschate then, to the very next ball from Napier, Kemp pushed down the wrong line to go leg before and bring an end to his 93-ball vigil.
Last man Robbie Joseph, running with Joe Denly as his runner due to a groin strain, added nine to the tally before he watched Simon Cook miss an attempted pull to go leg before for one and give Napier season“s best figures of 4 for 32.
Having resumed on their parlous overnight position of four for two, Kent“s reply to Essex“s first day total of 280 all out continued to go awry early in the day with their chief tormentor former Kent seamer, David Masters.
The Chatham-born player took three for 19 in a 95-minute spell from the Pavilion End to take Kent“s first three wickets to fall and his own match tally to four for 34.
Masters first success came in the fifth over of the day when he moved one away off the seam against Jones (9) who followed the movement only to edge through to his Essex counterpart James Foster.
Night watchman Khan (18) and Martin van Jaarsveld doubled the score to 36 before Khan prodded forward to Masters to again edge behind then Darren Stevens (6) played too early at a Masters“ slower ball to spoon a catch to Varun Chopra at extra cover off a leading edge.
The rout continued when van Jaarsveld (13) pushed hesitantly at a quick ball from Graham Napier to give Foster his third catch of the session and make it 50 for six.

Photo byAR Pics