Seamers help Kent take control
Matt Coles, Charlie Shreck and Darren Stevens took three wickets apiece as Kent dominated the first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
The hosts were bowled out before tea for a paltry 132, Alex Wakely top-scoring with 33 and Coles taking 3-32.
A partnership of 83 between West Indies batsman Brendan Nash and Ben Harmison, who made 40 not out and 46 respectively, then helped Kent to 127 for three at the close.
Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat, but lost opener Rob Newton for just seven in the fifth over when he edged Mark Davies to James Tredwell at first slip.
It was slow going for Northants during a chilly morning session and Stephen Peters was the next batsman back in the pavilion after being trapped lbw by Coles for 15.
Scotland international Kyle Coetzer crawled to 11 off 60 balls before falling cheaply; he hit Shreck to Nash at cover.
David Sales was to perish in the penultimate over before lunch as his edge off Shreck was superbly taken at second slip by Tredwell diving low to his right.
Shreck then picked up his third scalp in the ninth over of the afternoon when he pinned Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien lbw for 12, while James Middlebrook threw his wicket away by launching Coles high into the air; Kent captain Rob Key took the catch at midwicket.
Former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas lasted just three balls without scoring before he became Stevens’ first victim, nicking the all-rounder to former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones.
Wakely was adjudged lbw to Stevens, who then bowled Lee Daggett two deliveries later.
The innings was brought to an end when David Willey, who provided some resistance with 24, was well caught by Davies at square leg off Coles.
In reply, Jack Brooks trapped Key in front and, two overs later, the England Lions seamer had Scott Newman caught by Middlebrook at gully for 26.
Harmison reached his 46 off just 64 balls, including seven fours, before running himself out when having been sent back by Nash after a Brooks delivery, Willey with the direct hit from point.
Nash then survived the remaining four overs with nightwatchman Davies to ensure Kent will start tomorrow in a great position.