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Nathan Gilchrist takes career-best 6-24 as Kent (261) lead Lancashire (92 & 119-4) by 50 runs at Old Trafford

Nathan Gilchrist took a career-best 6-24 as Kent took complete control of their Vitality County Championship Division 1 match against Lancashire on day two at Old Trafford.

Replying to the visitors’ 261, Keaton Jennings’ side were bowled out for 92 in 30 overs, with both Gilchrist and Wes Agar, who bagged 4-35, making the most of cloudy conditions.

Nathan Gilchrist - took a career-best 6-24 for Kent at Lancashire. Picture: Keith Gillard
Nathan Gilchrist - took a career-best 6-24 for Kent at Lancashire. Picture: Keith Gillard

“Realistically I’m nowhere near my best considering I’ve only played five games in the last 18 months but days like today give you a lot of confidence going into the next few games,” said Gilchrist.

“Obviously we’re very positive. We bowled in some really good conditions but as a group I thought we performed well.

“Wes Agar bowled well and then my job was made quite easy. I just had to run in and keep things simple. The ball was doing a fair bit and it’s pleasing when the hard work paid off.

“Following on was quite a simple decision because the conditions were still in our favour but we probably didn’t make the most of it at the start of their second innings. But getting our wickets has made it a lot easier going into the third day.”

Presented with the luxury of a 169-run first-innings lead, Kent skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond chose to enforce the follow-on and his decision was justified as Lancashire lost three wickets for as many runs late in the day to finish on 119-4, still 50 runs in arrears.

In the 40 minutes’ play that had been possible before lunch, Kent resumed on 203-7 and added 36 runs for the loss of Agar, who was bowled for 13 when he went back to a quicker delivery from Nathan Lyon that turned through the gate.

The new ball was taken immediately after lunch and brought immediate dividends when Gilchrist was caught behind by Matty Hurst off Tom Bailey for 10, but Matt Parkinson, who was back at his former club for the first time since leaving at the end of last season, ensured that his new team would collect a bonus point when he edged two runs through the slip cordon.

But Parkinson was caught behind for three two overs later, giving Will Williams his 200th wicket in first-class cricket. Joey Evison ended the innings unbeaten on 71 from 150 balls.

The value of Evison’s 198-minute innings was soon apparent as Lancashire collapsed to 40-7 in 17.4 overs. Luke Wells was the first to go when he edged Agar to Jack Leaning and departed for 10 but the disintegration really gathered pace when the home side lost four wickets for five runs in ten balls.

Josh Bohannon drove Gilchrist for four but lost his middle stump next ball when he inside-edged an attempted pull. Next over, skipper Keaton Jennings nicked behind to Harry Finch for four when caught half-forward by Agar, who then trapped Tom Bruce lbw first ball.

The tumble of wickets continued next over when George Bell nicked Gilchrist to Finch and the same bowler had George Balderson caught at slip by Joe Denly for two to leave Lancashire in tatters. The mayhem continued when Tom Hartley’s wild slash to a ball outside the off stump merely gave Zak Crawley his first catch and Gilchrist his fourth wicket.

Lancashire’s disastrous afternoon continued when Tom Bailey was caught down the leg side off Agar for five but some defiance was shown by Hurst, who hit three fours and two sixes as his 36 that took his side past 61, their lowest first-class score against Kent, which they made at Old Trafford in 1884.

Hurst became Gilchrist’s fifth wicket when he pulled him straight to Crawley at deep mid-wicket and the innings ended when Williams edged Gilchrist to give Finch his fourth catch.

In their second innings, Lancashire openers Wells and Jennings immediately took the attack to Kent’s new-ball attack. The fifty partnership came up in the ninth over and the aggression continued even after Wells had been caught at slip by Leaning off Gilchrist for 22.

Bohannon helped his skipper add a further 51 before he was caught by Leaning off Evison for 31 when attempting a drive and Lancashire suffered another crucial blow when Jennings was brilliantly stumped by Finch off Parkinson for 40.

Williams lasted only one ball before being bowled by Gilchrist for a single as Lancashire collapsed from 101-1 to 104-4. They added a further 15 runs before stumps.

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