Kent v Worcestershire, Canterbury, 1st day

Richardson gives Worcs edge at Kent

May 17, 2013

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Worcestershire 104 for 5 (Ali 54) trail Kent 159 (Northeast 52, Richardson 5-41) by 54 runs
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Alan Richardson picked up a wicket towards the end of the day, Hampshire v Worcestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Ageas Bowl, 1st day, April 24, 2013
Alan Richardson took his 19th first-class five-wicket haul © PA Photos
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The bottom two sides in the County Championship crossed swords at cloudy Canterbury where 14 wickets fell during a poor opening day's cricket between Kent and Worcestershire.

Alan Richardson bagged 5 for 41 as basement hosts Kent were skittled for 159 inside 51.2 overs, but the eighth-placed visitors also struggled in reaching 105 for 4 - to go into day two trailing by 54.

Without a win from their opening three matches, Kent got off to a reasonable start at 35 without loss and having been invited to bat first by the winless visitors. But Rob Key's decision to shoulder arms against the naggingly accurate Richardson gifted him his first wicket as the ball jagged in to peg back Key's off stump and send Kent into tailspin that saw them lose all 10 wickets inside the next 40 overs.

Richardson removed both Brendan Nash and Michael Powell for ducks. Nash caught at second slip off a leg-cutter and Powell held at third slip after Gareth Andrew parried the initial chance in the gully. Richardson took a breather after an excellent opening burst of 10-6-9-3 and though the floodlights came on soon afterwards, Kent's situation dulled further.

Ben Harmison, on his season's first Championship appearance, clipped uppishly off his legs to be caught at midwicket and Darren Stevens also played across the line to fall lbw to Andrew.

Kent's capitulation gathered momentum after lunch as they lost their next three wickets for four runs in the space of six deliveries. Andrew skittled Geraint Jones for 16 then snared home skipper James Tredwell leg before five balls later, winning the appeal despite Tredwell's big push forward in defence.

Opener Sam Northeast square drove Andrew through cover point to post a 97-ball 50 with eight boundaries - his first half-century of the championship summer - only to be caught behind without addition when Richardson returned for a second spell.

Kent saved some pride with a ninth-wicket stand worth 43 between Mark Davies and Matt Coles, who made 21 from No. 9, that ended when Coles swished across the line to depart leg before to Jack Shantry.

Davies continued to hit out, clipping 40 from 51 balls, before slicing an ambitious drive against Richardson high to point to end Kent's innings and send the players in for tea.

With the floodlights still on Worcestershire's reply began, but they too were soon in trouble as Shreck pinned Matthew Pardoe leg before when barely shuffling from the crease. Mark Davies accounted for Daryl Mitchell in similar fashion and then re-arranged the stumps of Sri Lankan Test batsman Thilan Samaraweera to leave the visitors in dire straits at 34 for 3.

Moeen Ali and Alexei Kervezee dug deep in a fourth-wicket stand worth 70 in 16.1 overs with Ali notching the second 50 of the day from 86 balls and with six fours. But Tredwell's decision to re-introduce Coles for a second spell paid immediate dividends when he had Ali caught behind from an ill-advised cut shot.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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