Home   Canterbury   Sport   Article

Jordan Cox scores century for Essex (530-7dec & 257-4) against his former club as they lead Kent (413) by 374 runs going into final day in Chelmsford

Former Kent batsman Jordan Cox scored a century as Essex wrestled control of their Vitality County Championship clash at Chelmsford on day three on Sunday.

The 23-year-old right-hander hit six sixes in an unbeaten 116 as Essex scored at six runs an over in a bid to force a final-day victory.

Jordan Cox - scored a century for Essex against former club Kent on Sunday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Jordan Cox - scored a century for Essex against former club Kent on Sunday. Picture: Keith Gillard

The hosts lead by 374 runs heading into the final day when rain and strong winds are forecasted.

Earlier, Kent opener Ben Compton extended his stay in the middle for more than eight and a half hours to help Kent avoid the follow-on by 33 runs. The left-hander was last man out for 165, his highest score for Kent, from 263 balls.

Compton said: “That’s four-day cricket. From where we were at the start of the day on 245-1 just shows how quickly a game can turn. Credit to the way they played at the end there, we took a bit of a battering. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do in that situation, it’s a small ground, and they really went for it and it paid off.

“It went their way too, there were a couple of spilled chances, a couple landed in no-man’s land. But credit to Jordan Cox, he played beautifully, to be fair.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’d got to put it behind us and come back tomorrow and really work to see if we can walk away with eight points for a draw.

“I’ve got mixed feelings. Obviously, I’m very glad on a personal level to contribute. But I think, to be honest, that last hour has put a dampener on things. I’d imagine they’ll declare overnight and stick us in straight tomorrow, so we’ve just got to look forward.

“They have set the game up by playing really aggressively. We’ve been behind from the get-go and that is certainly the case going into tomorrow.

“The focus has got to be on that first hour tomorrow, that first session is going to be huge. It’s all about negotiating that and see where we are. At this point, I guess we are just trying to play out a draw.

“I think it was quite clear that they were going to be really aggressive in that last session and try and put the pressure back and give us a tricky job tomorrow.”

That Essex were able to get so close to asking Kent to go straight back in was due to an inspired spell from leg-spinning all-rounder Matt Critchley, following up his career-high 151 with 5-105, his best figures since moving from Derbyshire in 2022.

Wickets had been scarce on day two, but skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond had added just a single to his overnight score when he was late on a straight one from Jamie Porter. He had been in the middle for 73 overs with Compton while putting on 224 for the second wicket.

Essex had taken the new ball at the start of the day and it quickly accounted for Jack Leaning (4) in Porter’s next over, lbw to one that jagged in, before Shane Snater removed Joe Denly’s (16) leg stump to claim his 100th first-class wicket.

It was then over to Critchley, who flipped from end to end, taking wickets at both. Harry Finch (6) misdrove to mid-on to the first ball of a brief spell from the river end, Jaydn Denly lunged extravagantly to loop a ball from the opposite end into short leg’s hands for a 16-ball duck on debut and Wes Agar (10) toppled forward to fall lbw as Critchley reverted to his original starting point.

From 251-1, Kent had collapsed to 312-7. However, that only brought in Nathan Gilchrist who pulled Critchley and Simon Harmer for sixes as he contributed 33 towards the first fifty of an 88-run stand with the immovable Compton.

Gilchrist was finally out for a career-high of 41 from 64 balls, having helped Kent avoid the follow-on, before edging Critchley behind where Michael Pepper grabbed at the second attempt. Critchley’s fourth career fifth-wicket haul was confirmed when Matt Parkinson thick-edged to slip.

Compton, 100 not out at the start of play, watched the wickets tumble from the other end. He played one of the shots of the day when he rocked back and drove Harmer through the covers for four. But he was denied the honour of carrying his bat, bowled around his legs attempting to sweep Harmer.

Wes Agar - took 2-47 in nine overs for Kent against Essex. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Wes Agar - took 2-47 in nine overs for Kent against Essex. Picture: Barry Goodwin

When Essex batted for a second time, Dean Elgar survived a chance to Agar’s third ball, dropped at the third attempt by a diving Harry Finch. Elgar made Kent pay with 34 from 48 balls before Garrett trapped him lbw.

Kent had broken through when Feroze Khushi watched in horror as an injudicious pull off Agar ended up in deep mid-wicket’s hands. Agar (2-47) had a second wicket when Tom Westley played all around one and was lbw.

Cox quickly found his range, twice reverse-sweeping Parkinson for boundaries and then slamming two fours through mid-wicket and a six over extra cover in a Parkinson over that cost 19.

Critchley hit 25 from 23 balls in a quickfire 87-run partnership with Cox before being bowled by Parkinson (1-108 in 15 overs) while Michael Pepper (34 not out) helped add 91 for the unbroken fifth wicket.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More