Nifty fifty for Essex trio

Kent v Essex – Vitality County Championship Division One – The Spitfire Ground – Day One – Report

Essex 287 for four (96.0 overs)

Kent (yet to bat)

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Half-centuries from Dean Elgar, Nick Browne and Jordan Cox have put Essex in a strong position on day one of their Vitality County Championship Division One encounter with Kent at Canterbury.

Looking to build on last week’s incredible victory over Warwickshire at Chelmsford, Essex’s opening partnership of Browne and Elgar wasted little time, putting on 146 for the first wicket. Elgar the man dismissed – stumped by Harry Finch – having scored 77 off 140 balls. The former followed for 65. Joey Evison saw off both Brown and Matt Critchley, as Kent searched for a foothold.

However, it was Essex who finished the day strongly, with Jordan Cox – returning to his old stomping ground – unbeaten on 51* and Michael Pepper 35* – Evison was the pick of the Kent attack with two for 38.

Speaking to Fred Atkins from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex’s Dean Elgar said: “It was pretty slow and there was obviously not a lot of pace in the wicket. It’s been a pretty good day for us at 287 for four and we’re pretty happy with it. You’ve got to apply your basics out there. You don’t really look to do anything different. You’ve just got to play the ball as you see it and play it on merit irrespective of conditions.

“If anything personally I’m playing pretty nice cricket at the moment, touch wood it’s been going ok. I just want to go out and contribute every time I play this game. Luckily today was my guy and other players contributed nicely. I can’t say it’s been easy but luckily things have fallen in my path quite nicely so far.”

Play resumes on Saturday at 11am.

Kent: BG Compton, Z Crawley, DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), MK O’Riordan, JL Denly, HZ Finch (WK), JDM Evison, G Stewart, WA Agar, MW Parkinson, Arafat Bhuiyan

Essex: NLJ Browne, D Elgar, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, AP Beard, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Umpires: M Newell and T Lungley

Scorers: LAR Hart and P Parkinson

Match Referee: JJ Swift

Elsewhere in Division One, Kyle Abbott returned bowling figures of five for 25 to help Hampshire dismiss Surrey for just 127 at the Utilita Bowl.

Responding, the home side had reached 102 for one at the close. Fletcha Middleton (35) and Toby Albert (34*).

In Division Two, Sussex reached 295 for four before bad light ensured an early conclusion against Middlesex at Lord’s. Cheteshwar Pujara is unbeaten on 91* and former Seaxes man John Simpson 71*.


Brian Jeeves