A score of 54 not out with the bat and a wicket from Harry Podmore on Day Two helped Kent back into the match with Essex at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence in Canterbury.
41 overs were sent down between rain showers as Essex reached 32 for one after 14.4 overs in response to Kent’s first innings total of 226 all out.
A tenacious ninth-wicket stand worth 65 helped Kent pass 200 for a precious batting bonus point on the second morning after Kent had resumed on their first day score of 125 for six.
The hosts lost Ollie Rayner in the third over of the day when Mohammad Amir plucked out his off stump with an in-swinging yorker that thudded off the right-hander’s pads and onto the timbers.
Darren Stevens added only six to the tally before he walked across one from Sam Cook to go leg-before, bringing Podmore and Matt Milnes together for their useful 62-minute stand.
With the batting point banked, Milnes prodded outside off stump to one from Ravi Bopara and edged to Alastair Cook at first slip and the first rain shower arrived soon after to take the players in for an early lunch.
After the resumption, Podmore went on to his second Championship half-century for Kent from 65 balls and with eight fours and a six. He lost his 10th wicket partner Mitchell Claydon to an uppish drive caught at extra cover, leaving Podmore unbeaten on 54 – his highest first-class score for the county.
S Cook finished with excellent figures of five for 42, while Amir posted four for 48 in his sole four-day game for Essex this season and the last first-class appearance of his career.
After a huge mopping up exercise, Essex started their reply at 16:00 but it would last less than an hour.
In the 14.4 overs play before the rain returned, the visitors lost Nick Browne for six to a sharp catch at second slip by Rayner off – that man again – Podmore.
At the other end, Cook survived two LBW shouts against Stevens, who also beat the left-hander’s outside edge on a couple of occasions without feathering the willow.
Kent’s half-century maker Podmore said: “I think we’re in a good position, Matt Milnes and I got us up to a respectable total as the wicket got flatter, but the weather and the overheads made it slightly more uneasy for the Essex batsmen when we got to bowl.
“Overall it was a pretty good day for us. There was a bit of nibble in it, yes, we’d have liked to have bowled a little bit fuller and challenged the stumps and front pad a little bit more than we did.
“We will have to bowl well, Tom Westley and Sir Alastair are two very experienced, high-quality players but if we can get one or both of them early tomorrow morning then things might get interesting.
“Any middle order can be vulnerable no matter who you are, so fingers crossed.”
Credit: ECB Reporters’ Network