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Kent (108-5) trail Somerset (554) by 446 runs after day two of County Championship game at Taunton

Kent’s struggles continued on day two of their Vitality County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton.

The hosts added 114 runs to post their highest-ever first-class score against Kent, eventually being bowled out for 554.

Joey Evison - finished with figures of 3-92. Picture: Keith Gillard
Joey Evison - finished with figures of 3-92. Picture: Keith Gillard

Kent were then reduced to 108-5 by stumps on a rain-affected day, with England opener Zak Crawley dismissed for a first-ball duck.

With George Garrett off the field due to a ground injury, Kent remained a bowler light when Somerset resumed their first innings. Skipper Lewis Gregory soon brought up a fifth batting bonus point with an on-driven four off Beyers Swanepoel.

The total had progressed quickly to 460-7 when Migael Pretorius, on 19, edged a delivery from Grant Stewart (3-129) to slip where Marcus O’Riordan took an excellent two-handed catch diving to his left.

Six runs were added, with Josh Davey having joined Gregory before the first rain break of the day came with only 3.5 overs having been bowled. Play resumed at 11.50am and Gregory moved to his third half-century of the season off 69 balls, with six fours.

Davey contributed a handy 27 before chipping a high catch to mid-wicket off Joey Evison with the score on 517. Out marched last man Jack Leach, returning after knee surgery for his first appearance of the summer. He played some sweet shots in contributing 21 to a 10th-wicket stand of 37 before Gregory’s impressive knock was ended by a brilliant diving boundary catch by Crawley off Evison, who finished with 3-92.

Ben Compton took a couple of boundaries off the opening over of Kent’s reply, sent down by Davey, before Craig Overton pinned Crawley leg before with a full delivery, which beat the inside edge.

Daniel Bell-Drummond survived a confident lbw appeal in the same over, but before it ended the rain began falling again and the heavy covers were brought on.

Tea was taken before play restarted with the floodlights on and a possible 31.1 overs left in the day. Compton played positively again, but Bell-Drummond had made only four when driving at Overton and failing to get to the pitch of the ball, wicketkeeper James Rew taking a good two-handed catch diving in front of first slip.

At 28-2, Kent faced an uphill battle. O’Riordan joined Compton in looking to counterattack and hit three fours in moving to 20 before a loose drive saw his stumps scattered by Pretorius with the total on 55.

Leach was introduced into the attack at 76-3 but, after a tidy maiden, his second over went for 14 as Compton hit him through the off-side for four and three before Joe Denly lofted a straight six. The skies had cleared to produce the best batting conditions of the day.

Compton looked in prime form. But, having faced 70 balls and cracked seven fours, he went to reverse sweep Leach and stood transfixed when judged to have feathered a catch through to Rew for 43.

Harry Finch looked equally perplexed to be given out lbw to Leach on five, having been struck in front possibly off a feint inside edge.

Kent head coach Matt Walker admitted: “I think quite a lot went against us today, not just the conditions, but a few other things I can’t say too much about because I might get myself into trouble.

“I am disappointed with how it all panned out because I felt our boys scrapped really hard.

“A few things didn’t go our way and we just have to regroup for tomorrow, come back and use that energy to bat better than we did.

“We have plenty of batting left in the camp and must hope for some lower-order partnerships to form. There are runs out there for sure as Somerset showed by putting us under pressure with some really big stands.

“Compo showed what was possible by batting really well and hopefully tomorrow we can put partnerships together.”

Kent will have their work cut out on day three with much on the shoulders of Joe Denly, who will resume 32 not out in the morning.

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