Nash ton puts Kent on top at Grace Road

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Men’s First Team

Nash ton puts Kent on top at Grace Road

Brendan Nash hit his third LV= County Championship century of the season to steer Kent into a strong position at the end of the first day of their Division Two game against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Put in to bat, Kent slumped to 188 for five after a good start but 34-year-old Nash led them to 322 for six at stumps with an unbeaten 108. The West Indies left-hander shared a sixth-wicket stand of 134 with Geraint Jones, who was out for 52 to the last ball of the day.

There were also half-centuries for openers Sam Northeast and Rob Key, while left-arm seamer Rob Taylor claimed a career best four for 77.

Despite the green top to the pitch, Leicestershire's seamers had little joy in the first two hours as Kent cruised through to the lunch break.

There was little sign of encouragement for the bowlers, and a couple of missed chances in the slips did not help, Northeast profiting on both occasions.

He was dropped on nine by Will Jones off Alex Wyatt and escaped again 11 runs later when another edge off Wayne White went at catchable height between first and second slip.

But the Kent openers took control, with some crisp shots producing a flurry of boundaries, and Northeast brought up a century stand and his own 50 in the 27th over having hit seven fours in his 90-ball innings.

Key reached his half-century off 80 balls, clipping Matthew Hoggard through mid-wicket for his sixth boundary. But with the partnership worth 110, Northeast flicked at a Wyatt delivery wide of the leg stump and was caught behind.

The breakthrough gave Leicestershire a lift and they responded by snapping up four wickets for 53 runs in an 18-over spell with Taylor claiming three of them.

He had Key lbw for 68 trying to play through the leg side, and then picked up two wickets in three balls 10 overs later. Alex Blake edged a lifting delivery to wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley and Mike Powell was yorked by the second ball he faced.

That had Kent at 158 for four and 30 runs later the fifth wicket fell, Darren Stevens edging a Wyatt delivery to second slip.

But Kent regained the initiative, with Nash and Jones sharing a century stand for the sixth wicket.

Nash started steadily, reaching 50 off 97 balls, but then accelerated with the help of a six off Taylor and five more fours to bring up both the 100 partnership and his own century, off 142 balls and contained a six and 11 fours.

Jones reached his 50 off 93 balls with five fours but was caught behind off the last ball of the day from Taylor.

Click here for the scorecard

Click here for day one's highlights

Photo Sarah Ansell