Published: 19:14, 16 April 2021
| Updated: 19:30, 16 April 2021
Darren Stevens underlined his importance to Kent with a half-century as the hosts recovered from 86-5 on day two against Yorkshire.
The visitors will still start day three with a commanding 120-run lead, however, reaching 6-0 in two overs before the close having bowled out Kent for 265.
But it could have been a lot worse for Kent, who were already a batsman down with Harry Podmore taking no further part in the game after picking up a side strain on day one.
Day two started with Yorkshire making 379 in their first innings. They lost Steven Patterson for 38 to the fifth ball of the morning when he was caught by sub Fred Klaassen at cover, off Matt Milnes (3-76). Stevens then bowled Duanne Olivier for five to finish with figures of 4-60.
Kent lost captain Daniel Bell-Drummond (13) for a third low score of the season when he was trapped lbw by Willey and Zak Crawley made just one when he was bowled by Olivier. Joe Denly was then lbw for 17 to Patterson with the final ball of the morning session, leaving Kent in trouble on 59-3 at lunch.
When play resumed, former Yorkshire player Jack Leaning didn’t even survive to the end of Patterson’s over, out lbw for a duck after just three balls. It was then 86-5 when Jordan Cox (38), who had looked comfortable, was another lbw victim for Patterson (3-43).
The partnership Kent urgently needed came when Stevens, who got off the mark with a six over square leg, was joined by Ollie Robinson. They put on 70 for the sixth wicket before the latter was strangled down the leg side by Jordan Thompson and caught by a diving Jonathan Tattersall for 44, leaving Kent on 193-6 at tea.
Stevens reached his half-century with a single from the first ball of the evening session, but was lbw soon after to Harry Brook, who claimed only the second wicket of his first class career and his first since 2017. Grant Stewart and Milnes steered Kent past the follow-on target, before Stewart was caught behind off Olivier for 40.
Miguel Cummins made 13 before he edged Olivier (3-55) to Tom Kohler-Cadmore, leaving Milnes unbeaten on 29 at the other end.
Kent will look to Stevens again on day three for early wickets as they attempt to get themselves back into the game but he knows it will not be an easy task on what he sees as a decent track.
Stevens said: “The top order are gutted up there and feel like they’ve missed out. I’m gutted, I didn’t really think I was out, but I shouldn’t be getting hit on the pads by a part-time bowler.
“We’re not very satisfied to be fair. It was a flat pitch and we probably should have been four or five down. There were no demons in that pitch, they just had a good game plan.
"We’re going to have to try and dry them up and learn from what they did, hopefully pick up some wickets and slow the game down.”