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Monday 20th April 2009

Kent v Northamptonshire LV County Championship Day 1.
Northamptonshire 98-1 after 29 overs (lunch).
By Mark Pennell
KENT“S first morning of second division LV Championship cricket proved satisfactory if unspectacular as Northamptonshire“s batsmen cantered along at a steady rate of 3.3 an over having been invited to bat first by home skipper Rob Key.
Though he was without an overseas bowling option and still without the injured Amjad Khan, Simon Cook and Robbie Joseph, Key still elected to bowl first on a sunny morning and an what appears to be a flat pitch at the top end of the St Lawrence square.
The Kent skipper gave a championship debut to 25-year-old Phil Edwards, a former Cambridge University player who has had 2nd XI stints with Sussex and Derbyshire.
Edwards, who plays club cricket for Gore Court and who lives in Sittingbourne, originally hails from Minster on the Isle of Sheppey and becomes the first islander to play championship cricket for the county.
The youngster had to wait 95 minutes for his first spell, however, as Key handed the new ball to on-loan Steffan Jones from Somerset and the equally experienced Martin Saggers – the pair boast a combined age of 72.
Jones opened with a maiden from the Nackington Road End and Saggers proved equally tidy, but it was first change Azhar Mahmood who bagged the only wicket to fall in the first session, that of Ben Howgego (18).
Aiming an ambitious drive at Mahmood“s fourth ball of the game, the left-hander edged to second slip where James Tredwell pocketed a comfortable catch moving to his left.
Edwards finally got his chance with a three-over stint from the Nackington Road End and though he twice found the edge of Rob White“s bat one flew wide of Geraint Jones for four to fine leg, while the second off-side nick went wide of slips and down to third man for a single.

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