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Stevens and Billings put Kent in control on day two

An unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 205 between Darren Stevens and Sam Billings put Kent firmly in control on day two of their Specsavers' County Championship game against Gloucestershire at the Brightside Ground, Bristol.

Having joined forces at 141 for 4, after lunch, the pair punished the Gloucestershire attack to leave Kent 125 runs ahead at the close of play, with six first innings wickets in tact.

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Having bowled out Gloucestershire for 221 on day one, Kent, under blue skies in the south west, made a less than encouraging start to their first innings.

Sean Dickson, having seen the first five balls bowled to Daniel Bell-Drummond was trapped lbw by a decent length delivery from the left-armer David Payne.

Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly (6) added 23 for the second wicket before the latter edged Liam Norwell to wicket keeper Phil Mustard.

That brought Sam Northeast came to the crease, at 28 for 2. Together, the pair batted with caution against a Gloucestershire attack led well by Payne, who continued to swing the ball back into the right-handers, and Norwell, who at lunch, boasted the impressive figure of 1 for 6 off seven overs.

Northeast and Bell-Drummond dropped anchor after lunch and added 98 for the third wicket before Bell-Drummond edged Matt Taylor to on-loan keeper Mustard, for 65. He faced 124 balls and struck 10 fours.

After Northeast had posted his half century off 91 balls, he too departed, to Taylor. This time, the catcher was Michael Klinger at slip.

The wicket certainly gave Gloucestershire heart with Taylor bowling well from the Pavilion End and Craig Miles showing menace from the opposite end.

However, it was Kent who dominated for the remainder of the day thanks to 25-year-old Billings and 40-year-old Stevens.

Particularly harsh on anything too full or wide, Billings reached his 50 off 55 balls with 11 fours, while Stevens raced to his half century shortly after tea, off 70 balls.

By now, Gloucestershire had no answer on a wicket that was certainly devoid of demons. Stevens continued to attack and duly posted his century off 114 balls, with 14 fours and two sixes. He finished the day unbeaten on 121.

When the umpires took the players off for bad light, with 14 overs of the day remaining, Kent were 346 for 4 with Billings 86 not out. A good day for Kent, not so for Gloucestershire.


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