Three innings were seen by the crowd in an action-packed second day at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence in the Specsavers County Championship match between Somerset and Kent.
Day Two saw over 1,000 Kentish schoolchildren attend The Spitfire Ground as part of the Countrystyle Recycling Schools Day Out. Kent Cricket remains committed to providing free access to experience first-class cricket and inspiring the next generation of Kent fans.
Despite improved conditions compared to Day One at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence, Kent went in at stumps on 24 for two after 12 overs of their second innings – still trailing the visitors by six runs going into the third day of the match.
Facing a 30-run deficit when batting for a second time, Kent lost Zak Crawley LBW to a shooting Gregory off-cutter then Joe Denly, whose off stump was feathered half-way up by a Jamie Overton leg-cutter.
Somerset, who started their first innings of the match by 2.40pm, made a disastrous start in response to Kent’s 139 all out and having dismissed the hosts inside 41 overs.
Azhar Ali played across a straight one from Darren Stevens to be given leg before and James Hildreth prodded at a Harry Podmore away-swinger and was caught behind.
Tom Abell pushed inside a Podmore leg-cutter then Podmore seamed another down the slope to have George Bartlett caught at the wicket via an inside edge.
Eight more batsmen departed during the day’s extended final session of 38 overs as Matt Milnes broke a fifth-wicket stand worth 62 by enticing Steve Davies to toe-end a short one to second slip.
Tom Banton notched the first 50 of the game from 92 balls and with nine fours but, with the scores level, Banton’s 119-ball stay for 63 ended when he pulled a short one from Grant Stewart to square leg.
Stewart trimmed the off stump of Craig Overton with a sublime away-swinger, Gregory worked across a straight one from Milnes for another LBW then Stewart struck again in fortuitous fashion when Jamie Overton, in attempting to kick the ball from the crease, only succeeded in volleying it onto his own leg stump.
Two balls later, Milnes snared Jack Leech leg before to limit Somerset’s lead to 30 as Milnes, Stewart and Podmore each finished with three wickets apiece.
Earlier, Somerset seamer Gregory made up for the rain-ruined opening day by bagging career-best figures of six for 32.
Batting first after an uncontested toss, Sean Dickson fell leg before when playing outside the line to a shooting Jack Brooks off-cutter, then in the next over Denly, on his season’s home debut, went LBW when playing around a full one from Craig Overton.
Daniel Bell-Drummond departed in near identical fashion, leg-before to Brooks, when jabbing down late to another full delivery.
After five-overs from the Nackington Road End, Overton limped off the field to be replaced by brother Jamie, who struck with his fifth ball, a leg-cutter that squared up Heino Kuhn for a catch behind the stumps.
Brooks rested after a fine opening burst of 5-2-3-2 to be replaced at the Pavilion End by Gregory who was celebrating after only three deliveries by having Crawley caught off a top-edged hook.
Craig Overton returned after treatment and was re-introduced in a bid to break a sixth-wicket stand between Alex Blake and Ollie Robinson that added 56 inside 12 overs.
The ploy backfired initially when, after only five deliveries Overton hobbled off again with a groin injury, forcing Gregory to complete the over, but the short break in play proved crucial as Blake wafted outside off stump to be caught at second slip after a clear lapse in concentration.
In Gregory’s next over Stevens missed an off-cutter to depart lbw without scoring then, three balls later, Grant Stewart was downed on nought by Azhar at second slip as Kent limped into lunch on 121 for seven.
Gregory returned after the interval to polish the innings off. The right-armer ran three deliveries down the slope to trap top-scorer Robinson LBW for 37, then peg back the middle stump of both Grant Stewart and last man Milnes.
Credit: ECB Reporters’ Network