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Kent (111-2) recover well in reply to massive total from Worcestershire (618-7 declared) in County Championship Division 1 at Canterbury

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Jack Leaning showed dogged determination for Kent after Worcestershire declared their first-innings total on a benign surface at Canterbury on day two of their Vitality County Championship Division 1 clash on Saturday.

Earlier, Jason Holder and Matthew Waite both hit unbeaten centuries as Worcestershire built a lead.

Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond - ended day two unbeaten on 54. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond - ended day two unbeaten on 54. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Joe Leach then took two early wickets to reduce Kent to 15-2 before the hosts rallied to finish on 112-2 at stumps - a deficit of 506 runs. Bell-Drummond and Leaning were the not out batsmen on 54 and 43, respectively.

West Indian all-rounder Holder had been unbeaten on 123 while Waite made exactly 100 before the visitors declared on 618-7 in their first innings, with Adam Hose contributing 90.

Joey Evison had the hosts’ best bowling figures with 3-58, Matt Parkinson claiming three wickets after bowling for 44.5 overs.

Evison said: “It was difficult.

“I cannot fault the boys’ effort, really, on a pretty docile and slow (pitch) - a really good batting wicket essentially - but to show that fight after having 150-odd overs in the field, that partnership is still really going strong.

“It’s been really key for us.

“We will come back stronger tomorrow. It’s a very good batting wicket and they, obviously, batted well on it.”

The visitors began day two 308-5 at The Spitfire Ground and continued to bat for as long as possible on a wicket that looked like a chipboard.

Kent’s breakthrough finally came in the 117th over. Evison initially had a shout for lbw against Hose turned down but the next delivery hit him low on the pad in front of middle.

Rob Jones went for 37 when he swished at Parkinson (3-201) and was caught by Bell-Drummond at first slip, but it was 424-7 at lunch. Holder then let loose, undeterred by fields with as many as eight men on the boundary.

Holder glanced Parkinson down the legside for two to reach his half-century and reached three figures with a single off Leaning (0-90).

Waite was more measured, hitting just two boundaries on his way to 50, but the second half of his innings was pyrotechnic. He smacked Parkinson over mid-on for six to reach 99, then scrambled a single to bring up three figures, at which point the visitors finally declared.

Kent’s reply got off to a difficult start when Leach (2-12) removed Ben Compton with the fifth ball of the innings.

Compton initially looked like he had escaped after edging the ball to third slip but Jones, having dropped the ball into his lap, caught it with his legs.

England’s Zak Crawley then recorded his fourth single-digit score in five innings when Leach had him caught down the leg-side by a tumbling Gareth Roderick, but Bell-Drummond and Leaning responded with a partnership worth 97.

Bell-Drummond reached 50 with a risky single off Brett D’Oliveira but, having seen off the new ball, Kent batted sensibly and looked significantly happier at the end of the session than they had at the start of it.

“We need to try and do what they did to us,” said 22-year-old Evison.

“Just grind them into the dirt, really, on a nice batting wicket.”

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