Fifties for Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning help visitors recover from 38 for 3
Kent 309 for 7 (Robinson 84, Leaning 79, Cox 62) vs Northamptonshire
Ollie Robinson led the assault with a blistering 84 as Kent’s batsmen took the attack to Northamptonshire on day one of the LV= County Championship at Northampton. Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning also made half-centuries as the visitors recovered from the loss of three early wickets to post 309 for seven at stumps.
Veteran seamer Gareth Berg had made the most of favourable conditions early on to account for England internationals Zak Crawley and Joe Denly in successive overs. Kent’s batsmen though found runs easier to come by after lunch and went on the offensive, punishing anything short or wide with a flurry of boundaries.
Northamptonshire captain Adam Rossington would have been delighted after winning the toss and being rewarded with the early wicket of his opposite number Daniel Bell-Drummond who fell lbw to Ben Sanderson in the seventh over. Berg then found late movement to entice Crawley to edge one behind, and bowled the experienced Denly to reduce Kent to 38 for 3.
Cox though, playing in only his eighth first-class game, provided stout defence throughout the morning and ensured Kent went into lunch with only three wickets down.
Cox and Leaning resumed after the interval with a clear intent to attack and showing signs of the form and timing that brought them a record-breaking stand of 423 against Sussex last summer. On this occasion, their partnership had reached 89 when Cox fell to a stunning leaping catch on the midwicket boundary by Emilio Gay.
Leaning found another willing partner in Robinson who quickly found his touch and the pair had already compiled a 50-run stand by the tea interval.
Leaning, who survived an appeal for lbw on 32, brought up his half century with two boundaries in one over off Rob Keogh, driving the spinner through the covers and then using his feet to play him sweetly through mid-on. The pair had extended their partnership to 98 after tea when Leaning edged behind to give part-time bowler Gay his maiden first-class wicket.
Robinson, 22, continued to enjoy himself with Darren Stevens for company in the final hour with the 44-year-old all rounder dispatching Sanderson for six over backward square.
Eventually, Robinson’s luck run out after 123 deliveries when he pulled Nathan Buck to deep square leg. Shortly afterwards, Buck claimed his third wicket of the day when Grant Stewart left the ball and was bowled.