Kent force home advantage

Thursday 24th May 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent scored 300 runs in the day to grind home their first-innings advantage over Leicestershire and reach 404 for six, an overall lead of 263 runs at the mid-point of the game.

Resuming on their superior overnight position of 104 for two – in response to Leicestershire's modest 141 all out – Kent spent two sessions doggedly enforcing their lead.

Centurion Michael Powell and James Tredwell cracked on in the final hour to add an unbroken 92 for the seventh wicket against a weary Foxes attack.

The second day started with Kent skipper Rob Key and his overseas pro Brendan Nash at the helm, with both seemingly hell-bent on grinding the visiting attack into the dirt.

Nash at least played some attacking strokes in his innings of 76 with eight fours, while Key appeared content to drop anchor and bat almost six hours for a dogged 85.

Their third-wicket stand of 131 in 43 overs ended almost without a murmur at St Lawrence when Nash, driving at a low full toss from Wayne White, picked out Greg Smith in the gully to stun the Kent members.

Winter recruit Powell marched in to join Key in adding 86 in tandem with Key until, just 15 short of his first hundred of the season, the Kent skipper chopped on against Josh Cobb to make it 253 for four.

Stroke-maker Darren Stevens upped the tempo with a chancy but quickfire innings of 23 from 33 balls that ended all too soon when the right-hander miscued an attempted sweep and picked out Cobb at mid-on, with Kent already 151 ahead.

Geraint Jones (seven) perished soon after tea when, in attempting to drive, the toe of his bat hit the ground and inadvertently scooped the ball to Jacques du Toit at short extra cover.

Though visiting skipper Matthew Hoggard continued to ring the bowling changes – he used eight bowlers in all – neither Powell nor Tredwell could be dislodged thereafter.

Powell, who hit his maiden century for the county against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road in April, reached the three-figure milestone for the first time at Canterbury after four hours and from 246 balls.

He duly punched the air with delight, but took guard again to the following ball and accelerated his scoring rate in the six remaining overs through to the close as Kent hammered home their dominance going into the third day of four.

Click here for the scorecard

Photo: Sarah Ansell