Keith Barker bags four wickets on fluctuating first day of Hampshire’s LV= Championship clash with Kent in Canterbury

A Daniel Bell-Drummond century helped Kent to 271-7 against Hampshire, after a fluctuating first day in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury.

Keith Barker took four wickets on the opening day of Hampshire's Championship game against Kent at Canterbury Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.
Keith Barker took four wickets on the opening day of Hampshire's Championship game against Kent at Canterbury Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Bell-Drummond hit 149 from 231 balls, with 25 fours and a six, as he put on 126 for the fourth wicket with Kent’s next highest scorer Jordan Cox, who made 51, writes FRED ATKINS.

The hosts were on top for the first two sessions, but Hampshire used the new ball to bowl themselves back into contention, Keith Barker ending the day with 4-36 and Mohammad Abbas taking2-57.

Abbas struck in the seventh over, getting Zak Crawley caught behind for seven after Kent had won the toss and chosen to bat in sunny but blustery conditions.

Bell-Drummond, who’d struggled in his three previous innings this season, came in at three and brought up his fifty just before lunch, stylishly cutting Mason Crane to the deep-backward point boundary.

He cracked two further fours in the same over, leaving Kent on 97-1 at the end of the morning session.

Ben Compton was out shortly after the resumption, for under three figures for the first time this season, when Barker pinged back his off stump for 27, ending a stand of 98.

Barker then removed Tawanda Muyeye for just one, strangling him down the leg side where he was caught by Ben Brown.

The scoring rate slowed to a crawl for the next hour, but when Crane returned Bell-Drummond cashed in, hitting him for successive fours to bring up his hundred, the first a cut to third man, the second a drive through mid-on.

Kent were 177-3 at tea and Bell-Drummond ramped up the pressure early in the evening session, smashing Felix Organ for six over long on.

Cox, perhaps mindful of his seven-ball dismissal in the loss to Lancashire, was less hurried, scoring at around half Bell-Drummond’s rate.

When Kyle Abbott finally trapped Bell-Drummond lbw in the 85th over, the momentum shifted. Although Cox reached 50 driving Abbas through long off for four, Barker then had Ollie Robinson caught behind for seven and Cox was caught behind off Abbas.

Barker subsequently removed Matt Milnes for four, caught by Liam Dawson at second slip, leaving evergreen Darren Stevens (13 not out) and Hamid Qadri (two not out) to bat out the final two overs.