Mahmood leads from the front as Kent challenge table-topping Yorkshire

Wednesday 21st April 2010

Azhar Mahmood took his third wicket of the day with the second new ball

Kent v Yorkshire LV= County Championship Division 1, Day 2.
By Mark Pennell
Kent all-rounder Azhar Mahmood bagged three for 57, while Amjad Khan and James Tredwell took two apiece to restrict Yorkshire to 280 for eight at the mid-point of a hard-fought Division 1 clash.
Responding to Kent“s 317 all out, Yorkshire lost three before lunch and another trio in the mid-session as Kent“s injury-hit attack continued to keep things tight.
They were given a post-lunch boost with the sixth ball after the interval when Darren Stevens struck with his sixth ball of the day from the Nackington Road End to snare former Tykes“ skipper Anthony McGrath leg-before for 40.
Jacques Rudolph, who posted a fine 129 on his last appearance in Canterbury in 2008, took his score on to 38 and the Yorkshire total to 120 before the visitors lost two wickets in the space of two balls from James Tredwell.
Rudolph edged an attempted cut to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones then, to the next ball, Tim Bresnan“s attempted mow went fast off the edge to Martin van Jaarsveld at slip.
The visitors re-grouped thereafter, with Jonathan Bairstow (70) and Adil Rashid (59) who batted on either side of tea to add 126 in 43 overs before Kent hit back with the second new ball.
With his third ball Khan had Bairstow well held at third slip by James Hockley then, nine balls later, Mahmood trapped Rashid lbw with a shooting off-cutter that made it 248 for eight.
Yorkshire“s reply started at 11.15am and was soon in trouble as the visitors lost the first of their two left-handed openers, Adam Lyth, with only eight on the board. Lyth, who scored two 50s against Kent when the sides last met in Scarborough two summers ago, nicked a ball from Amjad Khan going across him to the tumbling Geraint Jones.
Three overs later Mahmood struck, catching Joe Sayers leg before when caught on the crease and the former Pakistan Test all-rounder made it 44 for three soon after by having No3 Andrew Gale superbly caught at second slip where van Jaarsveld took the catch diving in front of James Tredwell at first.
Bowling to three slips and two gullies, the veteran Mahmood eventually gave way after a 10-over burst of two for 24, thus releasing the pressure on the Yorkshire fourth-wicket pair. Anthony McGrath soon took advantage, driving the first ball from Matt Coles through cover for fours, the second delivery; a dab to third man also went to the ropes.
At the start of the day, Rob Key“s side added only four more runs to their overnight total before Yorkshire“s England seamer Bresnan snared last man Amjad Khan leg before for six to end the innings on 317 at 11.06 am.