Coles and Davies light up Headingley
Matt Coles struck his maiden first-class hundred and Mark Davies compiled a half-century as Kent continued to frustrate Yorkshire on day two of the LV= County Championship clash at Headingley Carnegie.
After Kent suffered a mini collapse with the loss of three early wickets for just 21 runs, number nine Coles ensured his side built a mammoth first-innings score with an impressive unbeaten 103 off 111 balls, which included eight fours and a trio of maximums.
The 21-year-old left-hander, dropped twice in the deep, shared a Kent record ninth-wicket partnership of 153 with Mark Davies, who made a stylish 58, as Rob Key eventually called an end to his side’s innings with the score at 537 for nine.
Ajmal Shahzad and Adil Rashid snared three scalps apiece, but Iain Wardlaw returned miserable figures of 0-106 from 24 overs and, to make matters worse for the hosts, all-rounder Richard Pyrah suffered a broken hand whilst fielding.
Joe Sayers and Joe Root, both strong on the off side, negotiated a tricky nine-over spell from Kent’s new-ball pairing of Davies and Charlie Shreck as the White Rose reached 32 without loss at tea.
That proved to be the final piece of action as bad light and rain put an end to the evening session with Sayers unbeaten on 19 alongside Root, who is 13 not out.
Asked about his superb knock, Coles said: "I went out there and played how I normally do and thankfully it wasn’t too bad. I got a bit giddy with about 30 needed but I got there in the end.
"I got there with Davey and it was a great partnership. He kept me very entertained out there so it was very good to share the moment with him.
"It will definitely stick in my mind for some time, it was a great moment."
Starting the day on 345 for five, Kent were soon pegged back by a double strike from the much-improved Shahzad.
Darren Stevens, who made 29, brought up the first boundary of the day by crashing Shahzad through the covers, only to mis-cue a drive to Sayers at mid-on next ball.
A return chance from Geraint Jones just evaded the outstretched hands of Ryan Sidebottom, but Shahzad removed the former England wicketkeeper-batsman with a delivery that moved away and rearranged his furniture.
Adam Riley, rocking onto the back foot to cut, changed his mind mid-shot and was bowled by Rashid, now operating from the Rugby Stand End, for eight.
But just when Yorkshire looked to dismiss the visitors quickly, Coles and Davies had other ideas.
Coles, pulling anything short, smacked a quartet of boundaries and two sixes in his 47-ball half-century and, at the other end, Davies favoured the off-side, rotating the strike with ease.
Coles, on 56, was given a life by Sidebottom, who failed to hold on to a simple chance on the midwicket boundary off Rashid, with the ball trickling over the boundary for four.
Davies’ 10th four saw him record his second first-class fifty but, despite finding the ropes once more, the 31-year-old prodded Anthony McGrath's gentle medium pace to Gary Ballance at first slip.
But Coles, dropped on 95 by Andrew Gale, took advantage to complete his excellent century with a reverse sweep for six off Rashid, which prompted Key’s sensible declaration.