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Essex v Kent: Northeast top-scores as Essex fight back on day two

Monday 20th April 2015

Sam Northeast top-scored and Mitch Claydon took two late wickets as ball bettered bat again on day two at the Essex County Ground in Chelmsford.

The 25-year-old Ashford-born batsman anchored the innings as Kent built on a first-innings lead of 29 and set the hosts a target of 193 to win.

Essex reached 66 for 3 at the close, with Ivan Thomas and Mitch Claydon making early in-roads.

Thomas bowled Westley for nought before Claydon grabbed two late wickets in a three-over spell.

Earlier, Northeast hit 10 boundaries and dug his side out of trouble after they were reduced to 49 for 4 with three wickets for David Masters and one for Jamie Porter.

Denly feathered his third ball to debutant Dan Lawrence in the slips before Daniel Bell-Drummond, Rob Key and Fabian Cowdrey each nicked Masters behind to James Foster.

Northeast and Darren Stevens compiled Kent's biggest stand of 62 with Darren Stevens (36) for the fifth wicket.

The evergreen all-rounder's run-a-ball innings included a massive straight six off Jesse Ryder before the New Zealander dismissed him next ball, caught behind by Essex 'keeper James Foster.

South African all-rounder Greg Smith entered the fray before tea to remove Sam Billings, caught at fine leg by Monty Panesar before vice-captain Northeast was adjudged LBW three balls before the interval.

Matt Coles skied a Napier delivery to third man early in the evening session before Claydon was caught by Browne at short cover and Riley trapped LBW by Masters, who finished with 4 for 45.

Earlier Essex, resuming at 67 for 6 and after losing another wicket with just 2 runs added, recovered to reach 164.

Graham Napier hit a forceful 57 from 40 balls including seven fours and a six before Northeast pulled off a fine diving catch at third man off the bowling of Matt Coles.

All of those runs came during an eighth wicket stand of 80 in a dozen overs with Jaik Mickleburgh who fell to Mitch Claydon when within four runs of his half-century.