LV=CC: Stevens stars with the ball on day one at Lancs

Tuesday 27th April 2010

Lancashire v Kent
LV= County Championship Division One
Day one match report

Lancashire 1st innings
317 for nine, 91 overs
Ashwell Prince 115, Steven Croft 93
Darren Stevens 4-42, Makhaya Ntini 2-45

An intriguing match is developing in Manchester as a Darren Stevens inspired Kent hit back in the final session to restrict Lancashire to 317 for nine at stumps on day one of this LV= County Championship Division One clash.

The home side had battled back from 86-4 to reach 302 for six before three late wickets from Stevens put the skids under their fightback and put Kent into a decent position at Old Trafford.

After winning the toss, and putting the opposition in, Rob Key’s men dominated the morning session as debutant Makhaya Ntini (pictured) and fellow new-ball bowler Amjad Khan made use of a green top as Lancashire lost both openers with the score on just 12. Firstly Amjad removed Stephen Moore and then Ntini claimed his first Kent scalp when Tom Smith shouldered arms to a straight one and was clean bowled. Things could have been even better for the visitors when Joe Denly, fielding at cover-point, put South African Ashwell Prince down on 18 – a drop that would prove to be very costly. However Kent didn’t have to wait long to snare their third wicket as Paul Horton was bowled by Stevens for 11. Glenn Chapple’s side went into the lunch break 72-3.

After the interval Kent’s attack continued to cause problems and the impressive Ntini picked up his second wicket when he had Mark Chilton caught at second-slip by Martin van Jaarsveld to leave the Red Rose county struggling on 86-4. Unfortunately for Kent, Prince was still at the crease and Lancashire rallied to reach 178-4 at tea with the left-hander looking ominous – unbeaten on 87 – alongside Steven Croft, who provided great support on 39.

The pair continued their partnership into the evening session, and despite both surviving loud LBW appeals off the bowling of Ntini they took the home side past the 200 mark. Prince then moved to his century whilst Croft competently complied his own half-century as Lancashire bounced back to 218 for four.

The fifth wicket stand of 144 finally came to an end when Prince was run-out for a masterful 115. Soon after van Jaarsveld had Luke Sutton caught behind by Geraint Jones for 14 as Kent began to take control of the final session. Stevens returned to end a threatening seventh wicket stand of 48 as he removed Chapple for 27 and then Sajid Mahmood four runs later. The medium-pacer wasn’t finished there and in the penultimate over he ended Croft’s stay, seven runs short of a century, to finish with fine figures of 4-42, as Lancashire finished nine down after a hard days cricket for both sides.