Points shared in Canterbury Championship Opener

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

Men’s First Team

Kent and Leicestershire took 10 points each as their LV= County Championship Division Two clash ended in a draw. Losing the first day to rain was always going to make victory difficult, but the visitors scented blood in Canterbury on Wednesday.

Leicestershire declared their second innings on 259 for five after Greg Smith made a century and Angus Robson posted his highest first-class score of 81. However, they may rue the decision not to declare earlier as impressive displays from Daniel Bell-Drummond and Darren Stevens saw Kent to safety, denying Leicestershire a first away Championship win since overcoming Worcestershire in June 2010.

Leicestershire started the day at 39 for two, with a lead of 103 runs and some hope of a result for either side. Ned Eckersley and Smith brought up the 50 before the former edged a Mitchell Claydon delivery to Stevens at first slip. New batsman Robson picked up two successive boundaries in each of Claydon's next two overs and striking his eighth four in the 40th over to reach a maiden half-century from 52 deliveries.

Robson was finally taken at mid-wicket by Rob Key off Adam Riley but Smith continued and reached a seventh first-class century, featuring 13 fours, before being caught by Doug Bollinger off Riley. Josh Cobb and Niall O'Brien put on 21 before the declaration came and Kent got off to the worst possible start as Sam Northeast drove the first ball back to Charlie Shreck. That left the big paceman on a hat-trick after Sam Billings fell to the final delivery of the hosts' first innings, but it was not to be as Bell-Drummond whipped the ball away for four.

Key made just seven before being caught by Robson off Anthony Ireland and Leicestershire's bowlers continued to cause problems after tea, with off-spinner Jigar Naik removing Brendan Nash and Ben Harmison in the same over. It left Kent on 36 for five with 23 overs to go, but Bell-Drummond and Stevens held firm to secure a draw.

Stevens hit five boundaries, scoring 34 runs off 50 balls, and Bell-Drummond reached 39 off 110 before the teams shook hands at 5.35pm.

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Photo kindly supplied by Ady Kerry