Stevens leaves Leicestershire wobbling
Leicestershire 74 for 4 v Kent
Kent landed the opening blows in the LV= County Championship's basement battle by reducing fellow Second Division strugglers Leicestershire to 74 for 4 on a rain-ruined opening day in Tunbridge Wells.
Kent's acting captain Geraint Jones, standing in for James Tredwell who is away on England one-day duty, admitted he too would have batted first at a cloudy Nevill Ground. But that will have done nothing to lift the spirits of his Leicestershire counterpart Josh Cobb, who saw four wickets go down in 21 overs after he won the toss and elected to take first use of the pitch.
However, the former England wicketkeeper conceded later that it turned out to be a good toss to lose as Kent's swing bowlers made decent use of the overcast and breezy conditions.
Though Matt Coles, the Kent and England Lions bowler, proved expensive during a wayward seven-over burst from the Pavilion End, Kent's three seamers of a lesser pace proved more than a handful for the Leicestershire top order.
Charlie Shreck made the opening breakthrough for the hosts in the third over to make it 6 for 1. Shreck got one to swing away and lift to right-hander Greg Smith who feathered a low, sharp chance that was well taken by a tumbling Adam Riley at third slip.
Former Kent wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien teamed up with Ned Eckersley to add 56 in 14 overs for the second wicket before left-handed O'Brien played inside a Darren Stevens leg-cutter that pegged back off stump. Without addition to the total, Eckersley in aiming to cut a short wide ball from Calum Haggett, edged a regulation catch through to Jones. Six runs on Stevens rapped Joe Burns on the back pad to win a confident leg before appeal.
Rain arrived in the Royal Spa town barely two overs later to force the players from the field at 12.30pm for an early lunch. They also took an early tea at 3.10pm and, despite a concerted mopping-up operation, they never returned as umpires Peter Hartley and Steve Gale abandoned play for the day.