Kent chip away to take three more Hampshire wickets in mid-session

Monday 6th September 2010

Darren Stevens took one for 24 in an excellent 15-over spell in the first session

Kent v Hampshire LV= County Championship Division 1 in Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

What Kent“s makeshift new ball attack lacked in penetration they more than made up for with accuracy on a frugal first morning at St Lawrence.
Batting first after winning the toss, fellow top-flight strugglers Hampshire reached 68 for three after 33.1 overs after the opening session of a match that may yet decide which of these teams drops to Division 2.
For various reasons the hosts are without the pace bowling services of; Amjad Khan, Robbie Joseph, Ashley Shaw, Azhar Mahmood, Dewald Nel, Adam Ball and Phil Edwards, and so had Darren Stevens and Matthew Coles sharing the new ball.
That said Hampshire“s left-handed openers Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry were not given an easy ride as the home bowlers kept things tight from the very first delivery at 10.30am and throughout the first session.
Adams might have gone for five when he wafted at a wide one from Coles only to bisect James Tredwell at first slip and Martin van Jaarsveld at second. The latter just got fingertips on it, but could not prevent the ball flying for a boundary to third man.
After a spell of 4-0-14-0 Coles gave way at the Pavilion End to be replaced by Simon Cook, but it was Stevens who caused most headaches at the Nackington Road End.
Swinging the ball through the air and nipping it off the seam almost at will, he bowled a stunning spell of 15-7-24-1 and eventually gave Kent their first breakthrough after 81 minutes.
Having beaten the outside edge on numerous occasions, Stevens finally feathered the outside edge of Carberry“s bat as he pushed in defence to give Geraint Jones a comfortable catch.
As a pointer to the degree of difficulty, Carberry faced 65 balls and hit only one boundary in his 15-run stay.
Five overs later James Tredwell gave Kent another deserved breakthrough by having enigmatic Australian left-hander Phil Hughes caught at slip for one when prodding forward in defence.
Malinga Bandara was given the final over before lunch and duly struck with his first ball to remove Michael Dawson (9). Driving hard at a dipping leg-spinner the right-hander edged to slip where van Jaarsveld took a reflex one-handed chance to his right.
Kent continued their good work after lunch with three more wickets in the mid-session and send Hampshire in at tea on 178 for six.
James Vince (36) lashed at one from Matt Coles only to edge to slip, Sean Ervine (11) clipped to mid-wicket where Sam Northeast went to his right to claim a good catch, then before tea Michael Bates (1) worked around a Simon Cook off-cutter to be bowled.