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Leicestershire v Kent: Stevens 50 and bowlers shine on day two

Monday 6th July 2015

Men’s First Team

Bad light frustrated Kent as they closed in on victory on the second day of the LV= County championship match at Grace Road.

The home side lead by just 59 runs with a single second innings wicket remaining when at umpires Steve Gale and Neil Mallender decided the light was too poor to continue with 8 overs remaining in the day.

As on the first day, the amount of movement obtained by both sides’ seam bowlers on a green pitch, together with increasingly indifferent bounce, made batting something of a lottery.

Seventeen wickets fell, but the highlight of the day was a remarkable half-century from Darren Stevens, which together with an eighth wicket partnership of 60 between Adam Ball and Calum Haggett, helped the visitors establish a first innings lead of 51.

Stevens was then among the wickets, along with fellow Kent seamers Haggett and Matt Coles, to put the visitors within touching distance of what would only be their second championship win of the season.

When play began the visitors quickly lost overnight batsmen Rob Key and Sam Northeast. Key was the first to be dismissed, leg before wicket to Ben Raine for 8, and in the following over, Northeast also went leg before, to Clint McKay for 17, leaving Kent on 60-4.

Stevens survived a big shout for a catch behind the wicket on 11 off Raine, and then lost Ben Harmison, a well-pitched up in-swinger from Charlie Shreck trapping him in front for 7.

But Stevens then took the attack to his former county in spectacular style, hitting ten fours before going to his 50 with a beautifully timed six over midwicket off Shreck.

It came off just 48 balls, but he was dismissed shortly after lunch, throwing his bat at a wide delivery from Ollie Freckingham and edging behind.

Ball and Haggett both hit well to extend the lead though, Ball’s 32 coming off 35 balls before he holed out off Freckingham.

Coles, who took six wickets in the first innings, struck twice early in the Leicestershire second innings to reach 50 LV= County Championship dismissals for the season in his ninth match.

The 25-year-old paceman trapped opener Matt Boyce on the crease and got Greg Smith caught at second slip attempting to leave the ball – his second duck of the match after his return from Nottinghamshire on a month’s loan.

Haggett picked up the wicket of Robson, and Stevens that of Andrea Agathangelou, in both cases leg before to deliveries that seamed back in to the right-handed batsmen.

After tea, three wickets fell without addition to the score after Stevens picked up Eckersley leg before with a ball that stayed low and Hill and Ali were caught behind.

Coles returned to bowl McKay and Haggett trapped Freckingham LBW before Raine and Shreck survived to ensure the match would go into a third day.

Click here for the scorecard