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Jordan Cox scores century as Kent recover to 301 all out against Surrey (18-2) on day one of County Championship at Canterbury

Jordan Cox’s 133 rescued Kent following another batting collapse on day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Surrey on Sunday.

Kent collapsed from 34 without loss to 41-5 at Canterbury but Cox’s ton plus half-centuries from Joey Evison and Wes Agar rescued their first innings tally to 301 all out.

Jordan Cox – scored 133 for Kent against Surrey on Sunday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Jordan Cox – scored 133 for Kent against Surrey on Sunday. Picture: Keith Gillard

Club captain Sam Billings left himself out of the XI after a torrid start to the red-ball summer, which has seen him average less than 10 in the County Championship to date.

Kent chose to bat in front of a festival week crowd and eased through 11 overs, only to lose four wickets for a single run in 13 balls.

Both openers fell to slip catches off Sean Abbott in the 12th over. Ben Compton went for nine, edging the first delivery to Will Jacks at third, and Tawanda Muyeye hit four boundaries in his 21, before nudging the final ball to Dom Sibley at first.

The next three batsmen all made ducks. Daniel Bell-Drummond was lbw to Jordan Clark and at the start of the 14th over, Abbott (4-52) bowled the returning Joe Denly with a ball that nipped back.

Cox survived the hat-trick ball but it was 41-5 in the 17th over when Clark had Jack Leaning, who took over as captain from Billings, caught behind.

Evison helped Kent recover to 80-5 but things nearly got worse for Kent when Cox – on 33 – edged Abbott, but Ben Foakes dropped a simple chance.

Evison completed his half-century by hooking the same bowler to the boundary and looked well set until he edged Dan Moriarty to Foakes, departing for 58 with the partnership worth 121.

Foakes then took a smart catch off Gus Atkinson to remove Hamid Qadri for five, flinging himself to the leg side, before Atkinson sent Matt Quinn’s leg stump flying for 10.

Kent were on 211-8 at tea, with Agar showing signs he could have been higher up the order.

The runs started to flow in the evening session. Cox, who put on 100 alongside Ager, reached three figures with an elegant reverse-swept four off Moriarty and although Will Jacks nearly had him caught on the boundary when he was on 123, Sibley had to step over the rope before completing the catch.

The new ball eventually did for Cox, who hit Abbott to Clark at mid-on, but the bowler was denied a five-wicket haul when Rory Burns couldn’t cling on to debutant Arshdeep Singh.

That drop was less costly, albeit Kent picked up an extra bonus batting point, as Dan Worrall had Agar (51) caught by Sibley at first slip in the next over.

That left left Surrey with 11 overs to navigate before stumps. It was Agar who made the breakthrough, drawing Burns into a hook that was caught by Quinn at short fine leg for 15.

Nightwatchman Atkinson then fell in almost identical fashion to what proved to be the final ball of the day to leave leaders Surrey 18-2 at stumps, 283 runs behind their hosts.

Cox said: “We’re obviously very pleased because being 40-4 is not ideal, so to get a fightback with myself, Joey Evison and then Wes at the end showed great fight from the boys and to get them two down means we’re ahead of the game, which is very positive.

“I wasn’t great this morning but I felt like I needed to drop anchor and stay there.”

On getting dropped by Foakes, he added: “I was actually about to walk. I think everyone knows Foakesie’s the best keeper in the world and that sums it up by today. He dropped one catch but he’s taken two unbelievable catches down the leg side to dismiss two of our batters.

“It was a real faint nick. It was wobbling and it flew through. Sibley was like running to celebrate, because obviously with Foakes under it everyone thought it was out, but it hit his hand and went pretty much where Sibley was, so I’ve got away with one there.

“I’ve been dropped a few times this year in the white ball game, but luck goes your way. I can assure you when I nick it again he’ll catch it.”

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