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Kent v Northants – Day 1 report

Wednesday 4th May 2011

Men’s First Team

Injury-hit Kent fielded three debutant bowlers in their LV= Championship clash with Northamptonshire at Canterbury – only for their batsmen to fail once again.

With six absentees through injury, a much-changed Kent were forced to include local schoolboys Adam Ball and Adam Riley, as well as trialist Neil Saker, only to be bowled out for a disappointing 280 by 5.30pm.

In near-ideal batting conditions, only Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld posted half-centuries as the hosts were dismissed inside 90 overs, with off-spinner James Middlebrook the pick of the visiting attack after claiming 3-42.

In their opening three games of the championship campaign Kent's batsmen have mustered only one century between them, and that sorry trend continued despite a decent opening stand between Key and Sam Northeast, who made 17, that yielded 68 in 22.4 overs.

After 71 minutes of comfortable batting Northeast had his stumps rearranged after driving over a full-length ball from Chaminda Vaas. Thereafter, Kent's top order all got themselves out when seemingly well set.

Key appeared disappointed to be adjudged leg before to Jack Brooks the ball after posting his 72-ball fifty, and Geraint Jones fell one short of reaching the landmark when he nicked Lee Daggett to David Sales at second slip to make it 139 for three.

Playing against his former county, van Jaarsveld appeared rock solid in stroking 10 fours en route to a 93-ball half-century, but no-one matched his application.

Darren Stevens, having got going with an edged drive for four over first slip, skied an attempted slog-sweep against Middlebrook to midwicket before van Jaarsveld fell for 67 to the same bowler, clipping firmly off his legs only to see Stephen Peters pull off a stunning catch diving to his left.

Kent's youthful tail collapsed as the last five wickets tumbled for the addition of just 47 runs.

A succession of ill-judged shots enabled Daggett and Vaas to finish with two wickets apiece while skipper Andrew Hall, who lost his seventh successive toss of the summer, chipped in with the wicket of debutant James Goodman.

Northamptonshire openers Peters and Mal Loye suffered no such alarms in the five overs through to stumps in reaching five without loss.

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