CricInfo Championship: Kent v Lancashire at Canterbury, 4-7 Jul 2001
Mark Pennell of the Kent Messenger Group

Kent 1st innings: Day One: Lunch, Tea - Day 1, Stumps - Day 1,


KENT REACH RESPECTABILITY AGAINST LANCASHIRE

Kent and Lancashire matched each other blow for blow on an eventful opening day of this sun-kissed CricInfo Championship clash in Canterbury.

The plaudits went to Kent opening batsman David Fulton, the first batsman in the country to pass 1,000 runs for the first-class season, and to Martin Saggers, who received his Kent county cap during the lunch interval.

But the Red Rose county also had good reason to be pleased for limiting the hosts to 301 for eight on a decent St Lawrence pitch and in conditions ideal for batting.

Indeed, John Crawley's early decision to invite the Hop County to bat raised a few eyebrows, but the Lancashire skipper had looked at a green tinted pitch and an even covering of grass and, despite the absence of his premier seamers Glen Chapple and Peter Martin through injury, elected to bowl first.

Kent made a decent enough start, adding 25 for the first wicket before Rob Key found an inside edge when driving to give former Durham seamer John Wood the first of his two wickets on Championship debut for the visitors.

Ed Smith also went before lunch to a catch at third man by Muthiah Muralitharan, who was the bowler when Fulton swept for four to reach his 1,000-run milestone.

Kent's new overseas player Andrew Symonds (31) helped post 58 for the third wicket before he flailed at Wood to give wicket-keeper Warren Hegg the first of his four catches of the day.

Wickets fell regularly thereafter, including that of Fulton for 65 and, at 208 for eight, Kent looked likely to miss out on a second, let alone a third batting bonus point.

But then Saggers teamed up with ninth-wicket partner Paul Nixon to post an unbroken 96 to help Kent to respectability and frustrate the visitors for the final hour of the day.



MURALI PUTS KENT ON THE BACK FOOT

Lancashire's ace spinner Muthiah Muralitharan grabbed the second period initiative as Kent went into tea on 184 for six on day one of their CricInfo Championship match in Canterbury today.

The Sri Lankan spinner sent back in-form Kent batsmen David Fulton and Matthew Walker to help restrict the hosts to 184 for six at the second interval.

Fulton, who after reaching 42 became the first batsman to score 1,000 runs for the first-class season, finally went for 65 with ten boundaries after edging a leg-side catch to Lancashire 'keeper Warren Hegg.

Murali also enticed Walker to drive a return catch with his score on 11 as Kent lost four wickets in the mid-session following a respectable start after Lancashire invited them to bat.

Kent's new overseas player Andrew Symonds recovered from a nervous start - he needed 15 balls to get off the mark - to reach 31 from 53 balls before he edged an attempted drive off John Wood into the gloves of Hegg.

To make matters worse for the hosts, they lost England all-rounder Mark Ealham just before tea to another catch by Hegg.



FULTON FIRST TO 1,000 AS KENT GAIN INITIATIVE OVER LANCASHIRE

Kent opening batsman David Fulton became the first player to reach 1,000 first-class runs for the season, as the hosts made a sound start to their CricInfo Championship clash against Lancashire in sunny Canterbury.

Fulton reached his landmark by sweeping Mutiah Muralitharan for four to take his score past 42 and his season's aggregate into four figures as Kent reached 104 for two by the first day lunch interval.

It is the first time in his 10-year career that Fulton has passed 1,000 and he went into the break a contented man after reaching an unbeaten 48 with eight boundaries.

Kent lost opener Rob Key in the fifth over of the day after the right-hander had stroked 13 off as many balls.

Having just opened his boundary account with a cover drive against John Wood, Key attempted to repeat the shot to the next delivery only to have his stumps spread-eagled when the ball nipped back off the seam and through the gate.

Fulton and Ed Smith (15) took the hosts score on to 61 before the latter tossed away his own wicket against a loose delivery from Andrew Flintoff.

Chasing a wide long hop, Smith flat-batted the ball high over slips but into the hands of Mutiah Muralitharan at third man.

Kent's new overseas signing Andrew Symonds took 15 balls to get off the mark before steering a single to the Sri Lankan at third man and continued to play carefully through to the interval in reaching an unbeaten 19.

Lancashire's decision to bowl first in ideal batting conditions was made all the stranger with the absence of their injured new ball attack of Glen Chapple and Peter Martin, who failed fitness tests with side and leg strains respectively.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 04 Jul2001 - 22:30