Precious Vaas restricts Kent
Former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas took three wickets to help Northamptonshire edge a thrilling first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Kent at Wantage Road.
Kent captain Rob Key top-scored with 46 as Northants made the most of the gloomy skies in skittling out the visitors before tea for just 202 with Vaas taking 3-70.
The hosts then had some awkward moments of their own in reply but veteran opener Mal Loye was unbeaten on 42 at the close with his team on 86 for three.
Kent won the toss and chose to bat in chilly conditions but they lost Joe Denly for 15 in the ninth over through a senseless run-out. Having already run two, Denly chose to go for a third but failed to see Lee Daggett at mid-off hurling the ball back to the bowler, Vaas, who whipped off the bails.
Daggett then claimed the wicket of Sam Northeast, who faced six balls without scoring before slashing wildly to James Middlebrook in the gully and Vaas trapped Martin van Jaarsveld lbw for 24 with the last delivery before lunch to leave the visitors on 87-3.
Key survived until the third over of the afternoon when he missed a full Jack Brooks delivery and was trapped leg before, while Darren Stevens made a breezy 17 off nine balls before falling in similar fashion to Vaas.
Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones battled well for 32 but was also given out lbw, this time off Northants captain Andrew Hall, and Brooks then claimed his second wicket when he sent Alex Blake’s middle stump tumbling.
Matt Coles and James Tredwell were both caught behind, off Hall and Vaas respectively, before the innings was brought to a close as Simon Cook edged Daggett to Hall at first slip.
Northants’ reply started slowly and they lost Stephen Peters for 13 when his attempted drive off Cook went to Coles at point, who fumbled the ball into the air before diving low to his right to take a good catch.
The hosts were reduced to 38 for two when Rob White was pinned leg before by Stevens after scoring just a single.
Alex Wakely was then caught behind off Coles for 11, but Loye and David Sales survived the final six overs with the latter unbeaten on 14 when stumps were drawn.