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Kent take late wickets against Somerset (440-7) on day one of County Championship Division 1 match as Beyers Swanepoel and Grant Stewart claim two wickets apiece at Taunton

Wickets late in the day helped to nurse Kent wounds as Somerset dominated the opening day of their Vitality County Championship match at Taunton on Friday.

Tom Banton contributed a career-best 133, off 174 balls, with 19 fours and two sixes, while James Rew stroked his way to 114 off 145 deliveries with 12 fours and three sixes.

Grant Stewart - finished day one of Kent’s County Championship Division 1 match against Somerset with figures of 2-86. Picture: Keith Gillard
Grant Stewart - finished day one of Kent’s County Championship Division 1 match against Somerset with figures of 2-86. Picture: Keith Gillard

The pair added 205 runs for the fifth wicket in 42.4 overs.

Earlier, Tom Lammonby hit 69 as Kent’s seamers found it tough going and the home side ended the day 440-7.

Kent head coach Matt Walker said: “It was a disappointing day, I think, overall.

“I think winning the toss was a good toss to win on a wicket where it looked like there would be some assistance for the bowlers.

“It’s hard to gauge where we’re really at actually, at the end of the day. There were plenty of wicket-taking balls in there - just not enough of them - certainly not in the first session with the new ball.

“It looked like, through the course of the day, it still did plenty, it still did enough and we still created some chances. But, equally if you got it wrong, you were punished.

“I suppose it’s a good wicket. It allows a fair contest between bat and ball but unfortunately, in the first session, we bowled way too full. I think we conceded 89 runs in boundaries in that first session, which is way too many.

“We didn’t challenge their forward defence enough.

“We didn’t make it hard enough for them to score and, in that middle session, a partnership formed between (James) Rew and (Tom) Banton, and they played very well.

“They took it to us. Obviously, losing George Garrett is a bit of a blow.

“He’s okay. A bit sore - it’s quite hard to tell at the moment - but it’s a bit of a groin issue.

“We’ll assess him in the morning and see how it settles down after a few hours. But I doubt very much he will play much further part in this game.”

An entertaining morning session ended with Somerset 133-3 from 32 overs. Their innings got off to a bad start when ex-Kent batsman Sean Dickson slashed at a wide ball from South African Beyers Swanepoel (2-65) and edged through to wicketkeeper Harry Finch for a fourth-ball duck.

Soon, Matt Renshaw and Lammonby were making batting look easier, Lammonby striking three fours in a Swanepoel over - two of them to a short boundary on the motorway side of the ground.

The duo brought the 50 up in the 12th over and Renshaw celebrated by pulling a six off George Garrett (1-56) before, with the total on 75, he fell for 40, caught at mid-on mistiming a drive off the same bowler.

With the total on 116, Umeed edged a defensive shot off Swanepoel to Marcus O’Riordan (0-83) at first slip and departed for 25. Lammonby was unbeaten on 54 at lunch, having been joined by Banton.

Both played positively at the start of the afternoon session to take the score to 172 before Lammonby got a bottom edge onto his stumps, attempting to pull a boundary off Grant Stewart (2-86).

It proved the only success for the visitors before tea as Rew launched his innings with three fours in quick succession off Garrett. And Garrett had to leave the field after two balls of his 11th over, which was completed by Joey Evison (1-61).

By then, Somerset were 209-4 and Kent, without Jack Leaning because of a hand injury, were forced to turn to the off-spin of O’Riordan.

The final session saw Banton survive a sharp chance to backward point off Stewart just after his stand with Rew went to three figures.

Rew followed him to a hundred with his 12th four, clipped over mid-wicket off Stewart after Kent had taken the second new ball at 349-4.

The left-hander had faced 128 balls, timing the ball sweetly. Banton departed shortly afterwards, caught behind attempting to uppercut a short ball from Stewart.

Rew also fell to the new ball, lbw to Evison, falling across his stumps to give Kent a second bowling point.

Craig Overton was dismissed for a rapid 23 but Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory was unbeaten on 26 at stumps, as he moved passed 4,000 first class runs.

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