LV=CC: Kent v Somerset day two match report

Tuesday 3rd August 2010

Kent v Somerset
LV = County Championship Division One
St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
Day 2 of 4

Somerset first innings: 380 all-out, 103.4 overs
Hildreth 151, Suppiah 125, Kieswetter 26
Mahmood 3-65, Khan 3-89, Tredwell 2-56

Kent first innings: 175 for three, 51.5 overs
van Jaarsveld 70*, Jones 49*, Northeast 18
Phillips 3-42

Even though the elements restricted a full day“s play, Ladies Day at Canterbury Cricket Week provided great entertainment, on and off the pitch, as an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 128 between Martin van Jaarsveld and Geraint Jones lit up day two of Kent“s LV=CC clash against Somerset.

Despite falling to 55 for three at lunch, the duo batted superbly in testing conditions to leave Kent well set to launch an assault on Somerset’s first innings total of 380. Heavy rain ended the day’s proceedings at 5pm with the home side well set on 175 for three.

Kent efficiently mopped up the Somerset within the first hour of play, as the visitors, resuming on 363-7, fell away to 380 all-out, meaning in the course of their innings they lost their final seven wickets for 68 runs. England“s limited overs wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter was the first to go for 26 as Azhar Mahmood extracted an edge out of the right-hander. South African Alfonso Thomas followed next; edging Amjad Khan (pictured) to van Jaarsveld at second-slip on 11. Khan then wrapped the innings up two balls later as Charl Willoughby fell for four with Malinga Bandara pouching the catch. The impressive way the new-pairing dealt with the Somerset tail meant the healthy St Lawrence crowd had much to cheer about early on as Mahmood finished with figures of 3-65 and Khan 3-89. However, from then on, the rest of the morning session belonged to the west country outfit.

In their reply, Rob Key“s men lost opener Joe Denly for eight, in the sixth over, when former Kent-seamer Ben Phillips produced a ball that the 24-year-old could only nick to Kieswetter behind the stumps. The dismissal proved to be the first of three victims for Phillips in his opening spell as he made use of helpful bowling conditions. Key and Sam Northeast somewhat steadied the ship, putting on 37 for the second, but both fell just before lunch. Key (17) was first to go, trapped leg before by Phillips, and then Northeast fell for 18 in the same fashion to leave the home side teetering on 55 for three at the interval.

Just after the break rain curtailed play by 15 minutes but once van Jaarsveld and Jones resumed the Kent reply, finally, the home side got a steady footing in the game. The duo were watchful but punished anything loose as they dominated the afternoon session. By tea, number five Jones (44) and vice-captain Van Jaarsveld (39) had added an unbeaten 88 for the fourth wicket to take Kent to 135 for three. Both batsmen had struck four boundaries a-piece at that stage.

As the clouds descended over St Lawrence during the twenty minute break, umpires deemed the light unplayable and, as light rain followed, play was halted for the second time in the day with Kent 245 runs adrift of Marcus Trescothick“s men. Play resumed just after 4pm and a quiet spell ensued with Phillips and Charl Willoughby keeping it tight in murky conditions. A Jones single brought up the hundred partnership between the two batsman and in the same over van Jaarsveld won the ‘first to fifty“ race, reaching the milestone off a battling 115-balls. Only a few more overs were possible as the rain closed in and at 5pm the heavens opened and time was called on the day’s play with van Jaarsveld unbeaten on 70 and Jones one shy of his half-century.

Picture:Getty Images