Leicestershire v Kent, Grace Road, 3rd day April 19, 2013

Thakor highlights his rich promise

Leicestershire 452 for 7 (Boyce 135, Thakor 105*) lead Kent 406 by 46 runs

Shiv Thakor and Matt Boyce both scored centuries to guide Leicestershire to an unlikely first-innings lead against Kent on the third day at Grace Road.

England Under-19 star Thakor, who was forced home from the winter tour of South Africa with a broken finger, made his maiden Championship hundred and Boyce a career-best 135 as they shared a record sixth-wicket partnership of 181. When rain and bad light forced an early finish, Leicestershire had reached 452 for 7 to lead by 46 runs, having started the day on 250 for 5, still 156 behind.

But 19-year old Thakor and 27-year-old Boyce stayed together for two sessions before Kent finally claimed their first wicket of the day with the last ball before tea.

Boyce was out lbw sweeping at a delivery from Brendan Nash - the seventh bowler used by Kent - having hit 19 fours and faced 309 balls. It was the sixth century of Boyce's career and beat his previous best score of 122 against Yorkshire last season. The stand was a Leicestershire record for the sixth wicket against Kent.

Thakor once again showed why he is regarded as one of the best young prospects on the county circuit and already on the radar of the England selectors. He survived a sharp chance to Darren Stevens at slip off Charlie Shreck on 47, but that apart, rarely looked in trouble. He batted with calmness and patience in only his 11th first-class match, showing fine defensive technique as well as a good range of shots.

He was the perfect foil for Boyce who has been switched from opener to batting in the middle order. The change seems to have worked with the left-hander showing plenty of confidence as he reached his century off 264 balls with 15 boundaries.

At times it was slow going and Leicestershire could only manage three batting points, falling short of the 350 target required by the 110th over. But having been forced to follow-on in the first game of the season against Hampshire, it was a confidence booster for Leicestershire to see two batsmen occupy the crease for such a length of time.

Thakor, who scored 134 on his first-class debut against Loughborough University two years ago, completed his first Championship century off 227 balls with a cover drive for two off Tredwell.

Jigar Naik was run out for 3 soon after Boyce's departure, but Thakor was still there on 105 when rain swept in and ended play 50 minutes before the close.