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Kent battle back after Leicestershire record stand

Sunday 29th May 2016

Men’s First Team

Darren Stevens took three wickets as Mark Cosgrove's century and a record stand with Mark Pettini frustrated Kent on day one.

The visitors rallied from 19 for three to go in at stumps at 340 for eight after Joe Denly picked up a rare wicket and Sam Billings claimed a fine no-look run-out to dismiss Cosgrove on his return to Kent.

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The 31-year-old South Australian, hit his third Championship century for Leicestershire against Kent and featured in a record fourth-wicket stand against Kent of 218.

Despite losing the toss, Kent enjoyed the opening exchanges as Leicestershire lost both openers within 20 minutes of the start.

Paul Horton (9), the ex-Lancashire stalwart, pushed at a Darren Stevens leg-cutter to edge behind and give Billings – fresh from his IPL stint – a first catch of the season.

Four balls later Angus Robson (0) drove loosely at a wide one from Matt Coles only to pick out Daniel Bell-Drummond at cover point who snaffled a catch diving forward and slightly to his right.

Ten runs on, Neil Dexter went lbw for a single. Prodding half-forward in defence, he was deceived by a slower off-cutter from Stevens that thudded into the former Kent all-rounder’s front pad.

Cosgrove drove nicely and his 55-ball 50 came up just before lunch and included eight fours.

Pettini reached a half-century from 84 balls after lunch as the pair's fourth-wicket stand passed the county's previous best against Kent of 162, set by Albert Lord and John King at Aylestone Road, Leicester in 1923.

Cosgrove marched on to reach his century from 127 balls and with 15 fours having scored 122 in the reverse fixture in April.

Pettini also looked set to reach three figures but, three runs short of the milestone, the right-hander nicked the second ball of the day from occasional leg-spinner Joe Denly into the gloves of Billings.

The dismissal ended a stand worth 218 with Cosgrove, who went in at tea unbeaten on 111.

Cosgrove’s fun came to a surprising end shortly after the resumption and following an extraordinary piece of glovework by Kent’s Billings that sent him packing for 119.

After aiming a glide to third man, Cosgrove set off looking for a single only to be sent back by Niall O'Brien at the non-striker's end.

Cosgrove slipped when turning and was stranded two yards out of his ground when Sean Dickson's throw was flicked onto the stumps.

Stood three yards away and with his back to the stumps, Billings used one glove to back-flick the ball onto the timbers and complete the dismissal.

Amazing no-look run out today by The Bilbo! @sambillings returns to #Propercricket in style

A video posted by Kent Cricket (@kentcr1cket) on

Kent entrusted Matt Hunn with the second new ball down the Nackington Road slope, a move that paid dividends with his third delivery when the 22-year-old snared Niall O’Brien (31) leg before.

Stevens returned for a third spell at the Pavilion End and had Ned Eckersley (11) caught behind. The right-hander was drawn into an ill-advised push drive by an away-swinger that feathered the outside edge.

At the start of the day Kent made four changes to the side that beat Derbyshire on Wednesday.

Tom Latham, Billings, Hunn and Stevens were all welcomed back in place of Alex Blake, Adam Rouse, Adam Ball and Mitch Claydon. The visitors replaced Aadil Ali and Tom Wells with Eckersley and James Sykes.


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