Bell-Drummond and Compton spark Kent’s fightback at Chelmsford

Essex v Kent – LV= Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Day Two – Report

Essex 530 for seven (dec) (112.0 overs)

Kent 245 for one (80.0 overs)

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Kent trail Essex by 285 runs with nine first-innings wickets standing

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Ben Compton reached three figures as Kent fought back on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One encounter with Kent at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford.

Responding to Essex’s 530 for seven declared, skipper Bell-Drummond was unbeaten on 134 from 215 balls at the close, while Compton reached 100* during 277 minutes at the crease.

Shane Snater trapped Tawanda Muyeye. However, it proved to be another tough day for the bowlers, with the visitors on 245/1 at the close of play.

Earlier, the Essex Declaration had come with Matt Critchley not out on 151 – his highest first-class score. Dean Elgar had hit 120 off 176 balls during a productive knock which included eighteen boundaries. Meanwhile, Jordan Cox continued his impressive start to life with Essex by contributing 67 against his former employers, while Michael Pepper fell one short of fifty as the home side appeared to have seized control of the contest.

Essex’s Matt Critchley celebrates reaching 150 (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Nevertheless, this had been Kent’s day. Speaking to Martin Smith from the ECB Reporters Network, Critchley said: “Obviously I’m pleased with that, it’s always nice to get a big score on the board to try and set the game up. It’s not quite gone as we planned with the ball but personally, I’m pretty pleased with my innings.

  “The game has certainly changed quite a bit from early yesterday when we were 10 for 2. It is a pretty good wicket and it was good to figure in a century partnership with Dean Elgar and then get involved in a number of half-century partnerships later.

  “I just try to bat for as long as I can to accumulate runs. I’m not really a stats man but I did speak to the batting coach about wanting to get bigger hundreds so it’s obviously nice to tick that off.

  “We are still 285 runs ahead so hopefully, things will go our way in the next couple of days. The second new ball is due immediately tomorrow and perhaps that might prove to be a big part of the game. We’ll keep sticking at it and see where were are Monday.

Play resumes on Sunday at 11am.

Essex: D Elgar, FIN Khushi, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, PI Walter, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, AP Beard, JA Porter

Kent: BG Compton, TS Muyeye, DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), JA Leaning, JL Denly, HZ Finch (WK), JK Denly, WA Agar, NN Gilchrist, MW Parkinson, GA Garrett

Umpires: ID Blackwell and GD Lloyd

Scorers: P Parkinson and LAR Hart

Match Referee: P Whitticase

Elsewhere in the County Championship, Dom Sibley’s century helped Surrey to 358 for six – a lead of 73 – against Somerset at the Kia Oval

In Division Two, Emilio Gay hit 261, while James Sales was unbeaten on 113 as Northamptonshire posted 552 for six (dec) against Middlesex at Wantage Road.

Responding, Middlesex had reached 128 for one by the close of play. Nathan Fernandes (65*) and Max Holden (40*).

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk