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Maiden hundred for Bell-Drummond

Highlights of day one at the Spitfire Ground

Former England Under-19 batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond notched a first LV= County Championship century to give Kent the edge on day one of their Division Two clash with Derbyshire at Canterbury.

Bell-Drummond, 20, marked his 30th first-class appearance with a patient hundred scored in a shade over five and a half hours and with only 11 boundaries.

Kent posted two batting bonus points as they reached 259 for eight at stumps after winning the toss and choosing to bat first on a tinder-dry pitch.

The young right-hander fell for 101 late in the day, caught on the crease and palpably leg before, to become the last of Tony Palladino's deserved haul of 5-54 for the visitors.

Having helped post 48 for the first wicket Kent lost skipper Rob Key for 34 in the game's first over of spin when, in advancing down the pitch to David Wainwright, Key missed a turning delivery and was stumped by Gareth Cross.

Ben Harmison lunged in defence at Wainwright to be caught behind, which left Kent 89 for two at lunch, and soon after the resumption Brendan Nash was left to rue his late decision to shoulder arms to a Palladino in-swinger that trimmed off stump.

On his home championship bow, Fabian Cowdrey spent 20 minutes and faced 18 deliveries before getting off the mark and had reached only 14 when - despite the hint of an inside edge - he was adjudged lbw to Mark Footitt.

Bell-Drummond added 91 in tandem with Darren Stevens, who made 45. However, Palladino struck with the second new ball as Stevens, flicking airily leg-side, edged through to the keeper to give the seamer his 150th first-class scalp in Derbyshire colours.

He soon added to the tally, having Sam Billings caught behind from a loose back-foot force and then pinning Bell-Drummond and Adam Riley lbw as Derbyshire rallied in the final hour.

Though Kent have allowed James Tredwell to go out on loan to Sussex, it seems clear that his replacement, Riley, will play a key role as this game develops.

The 22-year-old off-spinner from Sidcup is Kent's leading championship wicket-taker with 24 scalps at an average of 29.50 and should thrive on this bone-dry and cracked surface at the Spitfire Ground.

That spin would play a big part in events became evident after only 75 minutes when Derbyshire slow left-armer Wainwright dismissed Key with only his second ball of the match.

But the dual spin threat of Wainwright and Marcus North was subdued by Bell-Drummond's sheer tenacity and patience thereafter.

No one in the ground was more delighted for Bell-Drummond than Kent team-mate and former West Indies Test batsman Nash, who had batted 45 minutes with the former Millfield School starlet earlier in the day.

Nash, who was born and raised in Australia, invited Bell-Drummond to Queensland during the close season and believes his stint playing Grade cricket for Northern Suburbs helped lay the foundations for a consistent second full season in the Kent team.

"Deebs came with me to Brisbane, played decent local cricket on good pitches and found out a lot about himself, both personally and as a cricketer," said Nash.

"He didn't have a coach hanging over him every day and had to fend for himself more than he had previously and I think that's really helped with his development and character-building.

"He's been pretty consistent this season and county sides are giving him a lot more chirp because of that, but it's water off a duck's back to him now. I couldn't be happier for him."

Nash added: "Daniel had to be watchful. While I was out there we talked about the risk factor in shots square of the wicket and cross-bat strokes and we really tried to concentrate on scoring the majority of runs in the 'V' and that's what he did to perfection."

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