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Daniel Bell-Drummond scores 149 for Kent but Hampshire take four late wickets on day one at Canterbury

Daniel Bell-Drummond scored a dazzling 149 for Kent on day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Hampshire at Canterbury.

But four late wickets handed the initiative to the visitors as Kent ended the day on 271-7 after winning the toss and electing to bat first.

Daniel Bell-Drummond - scored 149 for Kent against Hampshire. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Daniel Bell-Drummond - scored 149 for Kent against Hampshire. Picture: Barry Goodwin

They had reached 239-3 but the final hour saw Bell-Drummond, Jordan Cox, skipper Ollie Robinson and Matt Milnes all removed as Keith Barker ended the day with 4-36 and Mohammad Abbas took 2-57.

Abbas struck in the seventh over, getting Zak Crawley caught behind for seven.

Bell-Drummond, who’d struggled in his three previous innings this season, came in at three and brought up his fifty just before lunch, stylishly cutting Mason Crane to the deep-backward point boundary. He cracked two further fours in the same over, leaving Kent 97-1 at the end of the morning session.

Ben Compton was out shortly after the resumption, missing out on a century for the first time this season, when Barker pinged back his off stump for 27, ending a stand of 98.

Barker then removed Tawanda Muyeye for just one, strangling him down the leg side where he was caught by Ben Brown.

The scoring rate slowed to a crawl for the next hour but when Crane returned Bell-Drummond cashed in, hitting him for successive fours to bring up his hundred, the first a cut to third man, the second a drive through mid-on.

Kent were 177-3 at tea and Bell-Drummond ramped up the pressure early in the evening session, smashing Felix Organ for six over long-on.

Cox, perhaps mindful of his needless dismissal in the loss to Lancashire, was less hurried, scoring at around half Bell-Drummond’s rate.

When Kyle Abbott finally trapped Bell-Drummond lbw in the 85th over, the momentum shifted. Bell-Drummond's 149 came from from 231 balls, with 25 fours and a six, as he put on 126 for the fourth wicket with Cox, who made 51.

Barker then had Ollie Robinson caught behind for seven and Cox was caught behind off Abbas.

Barker subsequently removed Matt Milnes for four, caught by Liam Dawson at second slip, leaving Darren Stevens, who was unbeaten on 13 and Hamidullah Qadri to bat out the final two overs without further loss.

Bell-Drummond said: “I’m very happy, I was just trying to be positive out there and play my natural game and I’m glad it came off.

"I felt good so hopefully I’ll keep the form going and keep going from strength to strength.

“I think that’s the beauty of our batting order. People can drop anchor and play shots, myself I can play a bit more defensively.

"We’ve seen how attacking Cox can be so I think it’s just recognising the situation and how you’re feeling there and then. Compton’s been brilliant, he’s had an outstanding start to he season and he’s great to bat with as well.

"With that left, right-hand combination you always get a few more bad balls.

“It went through periods, sometimes I thought it was quite flat, sometimes they had quite skilful bowlers who were able to extract something from it. I’m not too sure what a good score is.

“Our feelings are pretty mixed to be honest, we worked hard out there but they bowled well with the second new ball so the game’s still in the balance to be honest.

"We’d have liked to have gone in three, four or five down at the end of the day, but we’re still pretty content.”

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