Vaas gives Northamptonshire the edge
Northamptonshire 86 for 3 v Kent 202
Former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas took three wickets as Northamptonshire edged a thrilling first day of their County Championship Division Two clash with Kent at Wantage Road.
Kent captain Rob Key top-scored with 46 as Northamptonshire made the most of the gloomy skies in skittling out the visitors before tea for just 202 with Vaas taking three wickets for 70 runs. 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 3.
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 he 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. Vaas then trapped former South Africa international Martin van Jaarsveld (24) lbw with the last delivery before lunch to leave the visitors on 87 for 3.
Key survived until the third over of the afternoon when he missed a full Jack Brooks delivery and was trapped leg before wicket. Darren Stevens made a breezy 17 off nine balls before he became Vaas' second victim, pinned lbw, despite appearing to get an inside edge.
Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones battled well for 32 but he became the latest batsman to be trapped lbw, this time off Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall.
Brooks then claimed his second wicket when he sent Alex Blake's middle stump tumbling after he had made just four - and Matt Coles (six) followed his team-mate back to the pavilion when he edged Hall to wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien.
James Tredwell made 10 before nicking Vaas to O'Brien and the innings closed with Simon Cook (16) edging Daggett to Hall at first slip.
Northamptonshire's 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.
They were then reduced to 38 for 2 when Rob White was trapped lbw by Stevens after scoring just a single. Alex Wakely (11) was then caught behind by Jones off Coles before Loye and David Sales survived the final six overs with the latter unbeaten on 14.