Kent bite back with four last-session wickets

Monday 2nd August 2010

Azhar Mahmood removed Ben Phillips just before stumps to finish with two for 57

Kent v Somerset LV= County Championship Division One, Day One, at Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

Fortunes swung from session to session at St Lawrence on the opening day of Kent“s Canterbury cricket week fixture with Somerset where the hosts, having won the toss, went in at stumps on 363 for seven.
Kent took three wickets in the opening session and four in the last, but in between times Somerset made hay with a record fourth-wicket partnership of 253 in 60 overs between century-makers Arul Suppiah and James Hildreth.
Having come together at 59 for three, the stroke-making right-handers joined forces to take the visiting score on to 312 before Kent enjoyed their next breakthrough, 14 overs after tea.
Hildreth was first to his century, from 129 balls and with 15 fours, when he swept a Malinga Bandara full toss for a single.
Three balls later, Malaysian Suppiah waltzed down the pitch aiming a lofted straight drive off the same bowler, only to miscue his mow through square leg for a single that took him to three-figures from 184 balls and with 14 fours and a six.
Having posted Somerset“s best partnership of the season and after breaking their side“s 22-year-old fourth-wicket record against Kent, previously held by Steve Waugh and Ricky Bartlett worth 210, the pair fell within three overs of each other.
Suppiah (125) slog swept one from James Tredwell to Darren Stevens at deep mid-wicket then, off the same bowler, Hildreth (151) top-edged an attempted paddle to Rob Key at short fine leg.
Kent“s last success of the day followed five overs later when a calling mix-up between Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego (8) ended with the former Kent all-rounder being run out when attempting a third to long-on against substitute fielder Matt Coles.
Three overs from the close another former Kent favourite, Ben Phillips (14), fenced at an Azhar Mahmood away-swinger to be caught by James Tredwell at slip.
Having named an unchanged side to the line up that beat Essex on Sunday, Kent were made to bowl first after Rob Key lost the toss.
However, the home side who were soon celebrating the prized wicket of former England opener and Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick to the 13th ball of the day from Mahmood.
Fencing in defence at one that held its line up the slope, Trescothick (5) edged low to third slip where Stevens held a sharp low chance to make it six for one.
Mahmood gave way at the Pavilion End after a stint of 7-3-23-1 to Simon Cook who struck with his first delivery of the day by removing Zander de Bruyn for 23.
The Dutch right-hander“s airy drive away from the body resulted in the ball brushing the outside edge on its way through to Geraint Jones. De Bruyn practiced an altogether straighter shot, the one he should have played, before marching off with the score on 50 for two.
He was replaced by the promising Jos Butler who, having failed to get off the mark after 14 minutes at the crease, played down late on an Amjad Khan yorker that got through to feather off stump and make is 59 for three.
Hildreth had reached nine when he enjoyed a life. Driving hard at Khan he got a thick edge to fourth slip only to see Mahmood drop a stinging opportunity at fourth slip.
Photo: Sarah Ansell