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Worcestershire (308-5) close day one of County Championship Division 1 match in strong position against Kent despite two late wickets for Joey Evison (2-39) at Canterbury

Two late Joey Evison wickets shifted momentum slightly back towards Kent at the end of day one of their Vitality County Championship Division 1 match with Worcestershire at Canterbury on Friday.

The visitors were 308-5 at stumps, with Gareth Roderick hitting 117 from 281 balls, after Kashif Ali had given them a platform with 72.

Joey Evison - the young all-rounder took two late wickets at the end of day one of Kent’s County Championship match at home to Worcestershire. Picture: Keith Gillard
Joey Evison - the young all-rounder took two late wickets at the end of day one of Kent’s County Championship match at home to Worcestershire. Picture: Keith Gillard

Adam Hose was unbeaten on 50 at stumps, reaching his half-century with a single off Nathan Gilchrist (0-37) from the final over of the day.

Kent’s new overseas signing Beyers Swanepoel said: “Obviously, it’s not the ideal start that you want to your four days.

“The wicket is pretty on the flat side, as we looked at it this morning. We still wanted to bowl first - it will probably get slower and lower as the game progresses.

“It’s not been an ideal start but cricket is a funny game. It can change quickly.

“Hopefully, we rock up tomorrow, get a few wickets and we can get batting.”

Matt Parkinson took 2-79 but it was largely a torpid day in the field for Kent, who huffed and puffed on a benign wicket until 22-year-old Evison’s late two wickets to end the day with figures of 2-39.

The day began in sombre fashion, with an emotional minute’s applause for Worcestershire’s Josh Baker, who died at the age of just 20 last week. Both teams wore black armbands and the flags flew at half mast over the Frank Woolley Stand.

A crowd of more than 1,000 made the most of the first genuinely warm day of the season at The Spitfire Ground and - to no one’s surprise - the visitors chose to bat after winning the toss.

South African Swanepoel (0-60) generated some early swing, but the hosts’ only victim in the morning session was Jake Libby, who had looked lively on his way to 19 until he was lbw to a Wes Agar (1-77) delivery so plumb he turned and walked off before the umpire even had time to raise his finger.

It was 94-1 at lunch and, although the home team weren’t bowling badly, Roderick and Ali looked largely untroubled. They put on 136 for the second wicket until the latter began to look jittery against Parkinson, eventually nicking him to keeper Harry Finch.

Brett D’Oliveira got a start but, having almost nicked Parkinson to Daniel Bell-Drummond at the start of the 61st over, he went a couple of deliveries later - snared by the Kent captain at first slip for 18. It was 210-3 at tea.

Roderick drove Agar through cow corner to reach 100 but all-rounder Evison belatedly gave a dwindling number of home supporters something to smile about.

He sent Roderick’s off-stump cart-wheeling, before getting the night-watchman Joe Leach lbw for one at the end of the penultimate over.

“I’m absolutely stoked to make my county debut for Kent,” Swanepoel added. “What a club, what a family!

“I’m here to enjoy it, do my best and, hopefully, take a few wickets.”

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