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Kent v Surrey: Coles and Stevens take three apiece on day two

Monday 25th May 2015

Men’s First Team

Darren Stevens gained the prized scalp of the world's top-ranked Test batsman Kumar Sangakkara for just 10 before Surrey rallied to 250 for eight by stumps on day two in the LV= County Championship match at The County Ground, Beckenham.

Stevens took 3 for 47 and Matt Coles 3 for 58 but Surrey, at 170 for seven in late afternoon, counter-attacked after tea with Gary Wilson scoring a combative 42 and adding 55 for the eighth wicket with Gareth Batty, who remains a spirited 36 not out.

When bad light lopped 18 overs from the day’s allocation, with no play possible after 5.10pm, Surrey were 32 runs adrift of Kent’s first innings of 282.

Coles was livid when Batty, on 34, survived a big appeal for leg-before when he was beaten by a inswinger, and this match still hangs in the balance.

Stevens had seemed to have swung the contest Kent’s way during a second spell in late afternoon in which he had Jason Roy held at mid on for 16 and Dominic Sibley caught at first slip for 41, nibbling at an out-swinger.

Sibley and Steven Davies had boosted Surrey with a fifth wicket stand of 76 in 33 overs either side of lunch, but Davies fell to Adam Riley’s off spin for 45 when he mishit to cover and Sibley was fortunate to survive on 32 when he lofted the accurate Riley towards deep mid-wicket and saw Joe Denly put down a difficult catch over his shoulder as he ran back towards the boundary.

Earlier, Sri Lankan Test star Sangakkara had tried to hit 39-year-old Stevens’s medium-paced wobblers over mid on but succeeded only in skying to Calum Haggett, who took a good catch back-pedalling from mid off.

Sangakkara’s dismissal came the over after seamer Ivan Thomas had bowled nightwatchman Matt Dunn for a gritty 51-ball 10, and left Surrey struggling at 52 for four.

They had resumed on 17 for one and had already lost opener Rory Burns for 18 in the fifth over of the morning when he edged the hostile Coles to Sam Billings behind the wicket.

A good-sized Bank Holiday crowd saw Sangakkara get off the mark by lofting a square drive at Coles just wide of cover’s left hand for the first of his two fours, while Dunn took a blow on his batting helmet from Coles as Kent pressed for control of the game.

At tea it was Kent who were very much in charge, but Wilson and Batty played some fine strokes immediately afterwards and made the most of the eight overs between the interval and the second new ball.

Coles, however, struck with the third ball of the ‘new cherry’, having Wilson caught behind at 225, leaving Batty and Tom Curran to tough it out until the day was brought to a premature close.

The all-rounder said: "We are still in quite a nice position, even though we didn't bat very well yesterday after Rob Key and Sam Northeast had got us to 182 for two.

"We need to get their last two wickets quickly in the morning, but we had a good day with the ball today and with a few decisions going our way it could have been even better.

"We have been bowling well as a side in recent weeks and it is good to keep that going. We will need to bat well in the third innings and hopefully we can set them a big score to make on the last day."

Click here for the scorecard