Honours even after bowler's day at Grace Road
Kent 47 for 3 v Leicestershire 257
Leicestershire snapped up three late wickets to hit back against Kent on the opening day of the County Championship Division Two match at Grace Road.
Half-centuries by Wayne White and Claude Henderson helped Leicestershire to 257 all out, a huge improvement on their last championship innings when they were skittled for just 34 against Essex on Friday.
An opening stand of 65 between Will Jefferson and Matt Boyce was the cornerstone of the improved showing, although the total still appeared below par. Kent's reply soon hit trouble, however. Their first two wickets fell for just 10 runs while Nathan Buck bowled Joe Denly with the last ball of the day to leave the visitors on 47 for three at stumps, trailing by 210.
With Matthew Hoggard injured, James Taylor on England Lions duty and Andrew McDonald delayed on his return from Australia, Henderson captained Leicestershire for the first time. And the South African veteran played a major role in helping his side to two batting points after they had looked in danger of failing to reach 200 against their fellow Division Two strugglers.
There was no sign of the problems to come when Jefferson and Boyce shared a fifty stand in the first nine overs, Jefferson in particular dominating with six sweetly timed boundaries in his innings of 32. Yet both batsmen fell with the total on 65, Boyce edging a ball from David Balcombe to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones for 18 and Jefferson skying a catch to deep square leg off Wahab Riaz.
The dismissals signalled the start of a collapse with White the only man to offer some middle-order resistance as he battled his way to 50 off 87 balls with six boundaries before being bowled by off-spinner James Tredwell.
Greg Smith, Josh Cobb, debutant Shiv Thakor and Tom New were all out cheaply and at 195 for eight it seemed the most Leicestershire could hope for was one batting point. But Henderson hit a huge six off Tredwell, struck three successive fours off Riaz and reached 50 with two more boundaries as he shared a stand of 58 in 13 overs with Buck.
Henderson was finally bowled by Tredwell for 54, and with the addition of 45 extras - including 16 wides and 16 no-balls - Leicestershire reached a respectable total. Riaz, despite conceding 18 runs in one over, finished with 4 for 94 while Tredwell took 3 for 42.
But Leicestershire seamers struck back with opener Robert Key (0) spooning a catch to point in Buck's first over and third man in Sam Northeast edging to slip off Alex Wyatt having also failed to score. Buck then landed the crucial blow late on, producing a superb delivery to bowl Denly for 31.