Claydon five skittles Gloucestershire
Kent 83 for 4 trail Gloucestershire 179 (Payne 54*, Claydon 5-61) by 96 runs
Mitchell Claydon bagged his third five-wicket haul of the season as Kent dismissed Gloucestershire for 179 on the opening day at Canterbury. Responding after tea, Kent fared badly in reaching 83 for 4 in 32 overs, to trail by 96 going into the second day of a Division Two clash that counts for little in the promotion shakedown.
Claydon's stint of 5 for 61 wrapped up the Gloucestershire innings within two sessions but Kent fared little better thereafter. With Rob Key and Ben Harmison sidelined through injury, emergency opener Fabian Cowdrey lasted seven overs before he played down the wrong line to go lbw to David Payne. Ten overs later, the in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond called for a suicidal single to cover to be run out by Benny Howell, then Howell took the ball to trap Brendan Nash lbw for 15.
Just before bad light bought about an early close, Kent's acting skipper Sam Northeast blotted his copybook by chasing one from Liam Norwell to go for 2.
The day started with Gloucestershire batting first after winning the toss on a bright Canterbury morning. But the visitors made a disastrous start in losing five wickets within an hour, including both their opening batsmen for ducks.
Claydon was first to strike from the Pavilion End when, after just 16 deliveries, Chris Dent sparred outside off stump to snick a comfortable catch to Darren Stevens at slip. Six deliveries later and with only five on the board, Stevens struck to remove Will Tavare, also without scoring. Running one down the Nackington Road slope, Stevens snared Tavare lbw after the willowy right-hander's late decision to shoulder arms.
Alex Gidman, Gloucestershire's only player with 1000 runs for the campaign and who recently announced his departure to Worcestershire, stroked a couple of crisp boundaries in his 12 before he too went lbw, this time to Claydon. His hesitant prod, half-forward and outside the line, leaving umpire Neil Bainton with little option but to raise his finger.
Claydon picked up a third scalp in his next over. Getting one to lift and leave Gareth Roderick, the right-hander found a thick edge to James Tredwell at second slip for 11. Gloucestershire's opening hour demise continued when a Stevens' outswinger squared up Hamish Marshall and found the edge through to third slip to send the Kiwi packing for 5 and leave the visitors on 29 for 5.
Claydon, effective and dangerous despite his shortened run-up, bagged his 50th Championship wicket of the summer when he had Ian Cockbain well held by Tredwell for 6 in the cordon diving in front of first slip.
Claydon took a breather after his 11-over stint of 4 for 21 to be replaced by Calum Haggett who struck with his first delivery of the match by having Tom Smith caught in the gully from an ill-advised back-foot force. Then, in the final over before lunch, Benny Howell was turned in defence by another Stevens awayswinger that flew off the edge to second slip where Tredwell took another spectacular one-handed catch, this time to his right, to make it 62 for 8 at lunch.
Though Payne, with an unbeaten 54 from 89 balls, and Craig Miles, 48, proffered resistance after the break, Miles chipped one for Adam Riley to mid-off, then Claydon returned to have last man Norwell caught behind for his 51st scalp of the summer.