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Glos v Kent: Coles and Haggett record stand rescues Kent

Tuesday 19th May 2015

Men’s First Team

A gutsy fightback from all-rounders Matt Coles and Calum Haggett ensured Kent secured a first-innings lead on day two against Gloucestershire.

Haggett’s maiden first-class half-century supported by a hard-hitting knock from Coles rescued Kent’s first innings in the LV= County Championship match at Bristol.

The visitors looked in big trouble when slumping to 98 for seven in reply to 193, but Haggett (54) and Coles (66) then added 119 for a record eighth-wicket partnership against Gloucestershire either side of tea.

By the time a third interruption by rain ended play with a possible 20 overs remaining, Kent were 223 for nine and leading by a precious 30 in a match dominated by the seam bowlers.

Liam Norwell claimed three for 38 from 20 overs to take his tally of first-class wickets for the season to 31 and was well supported by David Payne, who ended the day with figures of three for 36 from 14 overs.

Both struck during a morning session that featured two rain-breaks. Payne made the first breakthrough by having Joe Denly caught behind for four with the total on seven.

Norwell followed up by removing Brendan Nash, caught in the slips by Chris Dent for 12, and Daniel Bell-Drummond, whose 26 proved the best contribution by any batsman in Kent's top six.

It was 71 for four at lunch, with Fabian Cowdrey having been pinned lbw by Kieran Noema-Barnett for six, and the wickets continued to tumble at the start of the afternoon session.

The fourth ball after lunch saw Darren Stevens bowled off an inside edge by Craig Miles and it was 80 for six when skipper Sam Northeast was bowled by Norwell for 24.

Sam Billings survived a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket off Payne when on 13 and looked to be in good form until frustration at being tied down appeared to get the better of him. He was caught behind for 16 advancing down the pitch to the same bowler.

That was as good as it got for Gloucestershire as left-handers Coles and Haggett played with increasing confidence and skill, making batting look easy for the first time.

Coles was the more aggressive and after tea had been taken at 183 for seven he reached an attractive half-century off 65 balls, with four fours and a six.

Taunton-born Haggett, who began his career down the M5 at Somerset, was more watchful in overtaking his previous best first-class score of 44, also made against Gloucestershire at Canterbury in 2013.

After Coles has been caught and bowled trying to pull the occasional left-arm spin of Dent, Haggett moved to 50 off 149 balls, with four fours.

His valuable knock finally ended when he pushed at a wide ball from Payne and edged through to Gareth Roderick. Soon afterwards the skies darkened and a heavy downpour ended play for the day.

Speaking afterwards, the 24-year-old said: Haggett said: "I'm not sure if my maiden first-class half-century is an indication of things to come, but I certainly enjoyed it. Matt Coles batted really well, which made things easier for me.

"The match is pretty evenly poised, although any first innings lead will be handy on this pitch. The Gloucestershire bowlers hit their lengths well today, making it hard work for our batsmen, and we need to emulate that tomorrow to drive home any advantage."

Click here for the scorecard