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Darren Stevens and Geraint Jones rescue Kent County Cricket Club against Essex in LV County Championship

Darren Stevens
Darren Stevens

Kent maintained their unbeaten start to the 2012 season but had to settle for a draw in the rain curtailed match at Chelmsford.

Darren Stevens (119) and Geraint Jones (88) produced the goods in the first innings, scoring all but 17 runs of Kent's 225 all out.

Essex were bowled out for 181 and by close of play on Saturday Kent finished their second innings on 92-2 - a lead of 136.

Kent claimed seven points from the LV County Championship Division 2 match, while Essex took six.

It had been a troubled start for Kent during a rain-affected first day as only 9.4 overs were possible.

In that time, however, Essex's Charl Willoughby produced a devastating display to leave Kent on 17-5.

Kent captain Rob Key was trapped leg before by Willoughby for one on a day to forget for his side.

Day two saw just 10 overs bowled, as the rain again hampered play. Kent put on another seven runs but importantly no more wickets fell.

The visitors were saved any further embarrassment on day three as Stevens (pictured above), hitting 119 from 170 balls including 16 fours, and Jones helped Kent to 225, although the last five wickets fell for just 22 runs.

Essex's big players struggled to make an impact in reply, with England opener Alistair Cook managing just one run, as he departed leg before to Mark Davies from the 15th delivery.

Tom Westley soon followed and Essex were indebted to Mark Pettini (92), with support from opener Billy Godleman (27). The hosts ended their first innings on Saturday trailing by 43 runs.

Mark Davies finished with 4-20 off 24.4 overs and was the pick of the Kent attack, bowling 14 maidens. Charlie Shreck returned figures of 3-59 from 20 overs.

Ivan Thomas made an encouraging debut. The 20-year-old seamer took 2-29 from 16 overs.

Kent's second innings saw them see the game out to a draw as Key finished unbeaten on 40 alongside Brendan Nash (22 not out).

Two wickets fell, with Scott Newman going for 24 and Ben Harmison for just one.

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