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Kent bowl Lancashire out for 327 on day one of LV= Insurance County Championship at Canterbury

Kent let Lancashire off the hook on day one of their County Championship clash at Canterbury.

Relegation-threatened Kent had Lancashire on 18-3 and 240-8 but the visitors recovered to reach 327 all out at stumps.

Aron Nijjar took three wickets for Kent in their County Championship match against Lancashire Picture: Barry Goodwin.
Aron Nijjar took three wickets for Kent in their County Championship match against Lancashire Picture: Barry Goodwin.

Kent at least took the full complement of bowling bonus points, with Matt Quinn and Aron Nijjar both claiming three wickets, with the final one taken on the last ball of the day.

Captain Jack Leaning felt happy with the day’s play. He said: “I think in the context of the day we’re pretty happy with that.

“We were going to have a bat this morning as well, it looked a pretty good wicket. The boys set the tone nicely with the ball this morning but naturally good players like Josh Bohannon (113) are going to score runs if they play well.

“We stuck at it throughout the day and they had a couple of partnerships, but to get them out for 327 and get the last wicket at the end of the day was a nice effort.

“I think it was a good wicket and it was starting to deteriorate and take a little bit of spin, so hopefully we can exploit that when we come to bowl again in the second innings.

“I thought Yuzi bowled really, really well. You saw today the skill level and the class that he’s got, to vary his pace, whether he’s bowling wrong’uns and sliders he’s just a joy to watch from slip and he was really well accompanied by Nijjar at the other end.”

The spectre of the drop has loomed over Kent for most of the season and the equation going into the final game was simple: a single point ahead of Middlesex at the start of play and having just two victories to Middlesex’s three, they will go down if the teams finish level.

Lancashire won the toss and chose to bat, to the relief of home fans awaiting reinforcement in the form of Zak Crawley, on England duty but eligible to play from tomorrow (Wednesday).

An all-seam attack had struggled to make any impact in the draw with Somerset, but the hosts were boosted by the return of Quinn and Nathan Gilchrist from injury and both made an early impact.

Both openers went cheaply. Quinn struck in the fourth over, when Keaton Jennings was caught by a sprinting Ben Compton at leg gully for four.

Nathan Gilchrist then had Luke Wells caught behind for five and home hopes surged when keeper Harry Finch, selected ahead of club captain Sam Billings, took a superb diving catch when Steven Croft edged Quinn down the leg side, handing Kent an early bowling point.

Their optimism was ephemeral. Lancashire responded with stand of 78 between Bohannon and George Bell, who looked fluent for 40 before Quinn had him caught behind.

Bohannon reached 50 when he took two from Aron Nijjar in the final over before lunch, at which point it was 106-4.

Lancashire seized the momentum in the afternoon. When Bohannon hit Joey Evison for four through cow corner it brought up his tenth first-class century. By the time he was stumped trying to charge Jack Leaning, Lancs were 217-5 and George Balderson was set, taking a single from Leaning to bring up his half-century.

It was 231-5 at tea, but Balderson failed to add to his score, caught at short leg by Compton off Yuzvendra Chahal and handing Kent a second bowling bonus point.

Tom Bailey made a seven-ball duck, hitting Aron Nijjar straight to Gilchrist at extra cover but Hurst was on seven when he edged Nijjar to first slip and he was dropped by Leaning.

Nijjar didn’t have to wait long for his second wicket as Jack Blatherwick tried to slog him and was caught by a back-pedalling Daniel Bell-Drummond at long off, but Hurst then led a counter-attack that exasperated the hosts.

He hit Chahal for six and had moved to 44 by the time he skied Quinn and Evison couldn’t quite haul him in. A scampered single from Quinn took him to 50 and with Will Williams he saw off the new ball, steering Lancs past the 300 mark.

Nijjar secured a third bonus point when he had Williams lbw for 11 and the day at least ended on a high for Kent when, with the very last ball, Chahal bowled Jack Morley for two. The other chink of hope for home fans was the early finish of the ODI in Bristol, meaning Crawley should at least get a reasonable night’s sleep if he’s asked to open on Wednesday.

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