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Kent prosper on truncated day

Kent landed the opening blows in their LV= County Championship Division Two basement battle by reducing fellow strugglers Leicestershire to 74 for four on a rain-ruined opening day at Tunbridge Wells.

Acting captain Geraint Jones - standing in for James Tredwell, who is away on England one-day duty - admitted he, too, would have batted first at a cloudy Nevill Ground.

But that will have done nothing to lift the spirits of his Leicestershire counterpart Josh Cobb, who saw four wickets go down in 21 overs after he won the toss and elected to take first use of the pitch.

Though Matt Coles proved expensive during a wayward seven-over burst from the Pavilion End, Kent's three other seamers proved more than a handful for the Foxes' top-order.

One-time Nottinghamshire bowler Charlie Shreck made the opening breakthrough, getting one to swing away and lift to have Greg Smith well taken by a tumbling Adam Riley at third slip.

Former Kent wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien, who hit 22, teamed up with Ned Eckersley to add 56 in 14 overs, only for the former to play inside a Darren Stevens leg-cutter that pegged back off stump.

Without addition to the total, Eckersley - having struck 32 - edged a regulation catch through to Jones off Calum Haggett, and Stevens rapped Joe Burns on the back pad to win a confident leg-before appeal.

Rain arrived in the Royal Spa town barely two overs later to force the players from the field at 12:30pm for an early lunch. They also took an early tea at 3:10pm and, despite a concerted mopping-up operation, play never resumed.

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