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Kent suffer 74-run defeat at Somerset in Division 1 opener

By Cameron Hogwood

Kent were bowled out for 131 on the final day as they suffered a 74-run defeat to Somerset in their County Championship Division 1 opener at Taunton.

The visitors were chasing 206 to win in their final innings after George Bartlett (67) and No.11 Jack Brooks (35) had lifted Somerset to 243.

Darren Stevens (43) top scored for Kent at No.8 after three ducks had seen them five wickets down by lunch on Monday.

Matt Walker
Matt Walker

Kent restricted the hosts to a first innings score of just 171 predominantly thanks to Mitchell Claydon's 5-46 after the entire first day and first session of the second day had been missed due to rain.

James Hildreth (27) and captain Tom Abell (49) top scored for Somerset at No.3 and No.4, respectively, as Claydon (5-46) and Matt Milnes (3-40) impressed for the visitors.

Matt Walker's side responded well through openers Sean Dickson (43) and Zak Crawley (37) until the latter was dismissed to bring an end to their 70 run partnership.

Nightwatchman Harry Podmore was then sent on his way for just two before Kent finished the day on 84-2.

Lewis Gregory (3-26) and Craig Overton (3-46) spearheaded Somerset's attack upon Kent's return to the crease, helping limit them to 209 and a lead of just 38.

A day for bowling then saw Stevens catch Marcus Trescothick out with an lbw for just five, before he doubled his wicket tally when James Hildreth clipped his delivery to wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson.

Crawley then caught off the bowling of Harry Podmore to end Ahzar Ali's innings, only for Steve Davies and Tom Abell to surpass 50 between them.

Claydon struck again to dismiss both on his way towards figures of 3-30, however Somerset hit back again with an unbeaten partnership of 60 from Bartlett and Craig Overton.

Kent started the final day well when Overton edged Milnes' delivery into the hands of Crawley in the slips.

Davey followed suit as he nicked behind to Robinson off Claydon's bowling, marking the introduction of Brooks who would go on to hit 35 from 31 balls.

Somerset eventually finished all out for 243 when Stevens trapped Bartlett (60) lbw, with the 21-year-old the only batsman to reach 50 across all three days of play.

Needing 206 to win, Kent lost five wickets in quick succession to head into lunch 43/5, with Dickson going first ball and both Matt Renshaw and Kuhn also being dismissed for ducks.

Bell-Drummond hit 18 and Blake added 20, but Kent's main source of hope came via Stevens' unbeaten 43.

The division newcomers finally saw their afternoon come to an end when Claydon found the palms of Hildreth off the bowling of Davey.

Read more: All the latest Kent cricket news

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