Kent v Glamorgan, Canterbury, 1st day August 31, 2014

Cooke's maiden ton revives Glamorgan

Press Association

Kent 1 for 0 trail Glamorgan 329 (Cooke 171, Claydon 4-47) by 328 runs

Chris Cooke scored a superb maiden first-class century to keep Kent's attack at bay and guide Glamorgan to 329 all out on the opening day of the Division Two match at Canterbury.

Cooke, the 28-year-old South African-born batsman, was last out for 171 after holding Glamorgan's first innings together against a Kent team still with an outside chance of promotion and aiming to win three of their last four Championship games.

It always looked like being Cooke's day after he was dropped on 2 by Adam Riley at second slip, off Darren Stevens, and overall he batted for 214 balls and struck 18 fours and a six.

Riley's miss was hugely costly for Kent, who would have had their opponents 15 for 4 had Cooke been dismissed. As it was, Cooke and Jim Allenby put on 62 for the fourth wicket to begin Glamorgan's recovery from 7 for 3.

Allenby made 44 from 44 balls, leading a counter-attack with eight fours, but it was not until Dean Cosker joined Cooke in an eighth-wicket partnership of 118 in 32 overs that Glamorgan moved into a position of comfort following their decision to bat first on a good pitch and in warm, sunny conditions.

The 36-year-old Cosker's two-hour 45 from 104 balls was only seven runs short of his career-best, and his determined resistance gave Cooke the opportunity to go past his previous first-class best - 96, also against Kent, in June - as well as hauling Glamorgan up from a distinctly under-par 183 for 7.

Mitch Claydon led Kent's bowling effort with 4 for 47 and it was he who ended Cosker's resistance in his second over with the second new ball.

Claydon also added the tail-end wicket of Michael Hogan, bowled swishing, to those earlier of Jacques Rudolph, caught at first slip for nought during an opening spell of 5-4-1-1, and Allenby, who was caught behind thin-edging an attempted pull.

Stevens supported Claydon well, starting with a new ball spell of 10-4-15-1 and having Gareth Rees caught at the wicket for 3 as he tried to force away square on the offside. Later, in the second over after lunch, Stevens saw David Lloyd, on 7, drive him straight to mid-off.

It was only right at the end of Glamorgan's innings, when Stevens was hit for 16 runs in an over by Cooke, that he was collared.

Robbie Joseph - making his first Championship appearance since the end of June - removed Will Bragg leg-before after the batsman had struggled through 41 balls, and Matt Hunn won an lbw appeal to send back Graham Wagg for 18 after he had driven offspinner Riley for six and four in the space of three balls.

Riley did have the consolation of taking Cooke's wicket, when he drove high to Hunn at long-off, but only after he had batted for five hours and displayed a range of strokeplay unmatched by any other batsman.

Before that, indeed, Riley's only success on a chastening day for the highly-rated 22-year-old, was when Mark Wallace - having contributed 24 to a sixth-wicket stand of 58 with Cooke - lifted a drive to short extra cover.

Comments have now been closed for this article