Cosgrove makes hundred as Leicestershire begin well
Leicestershire 300 for 5 (Cosgrove 113, Pinner 68, Coles 4-68) v Kent
Leicestershire skipper Mark Cosgrove hit his first century of the summer to help the visitors recover from a sticky start during a rain-affected opening day against Kent in Canterbury.
Early showers delayed the start of Kent's first home game of the campaign until 2pm, with the loss of 29 overs. Rob Key's decision to field first paid immediate dividends when Matt Coles struck with his second ball of the match to remove Angus Robson. Fishing in defence outside off stump, Robson nicked to third slip where Sam Northeast pouched a comfortable catch. Coles struck again six overs later to make it 31 for 2 by trapping Matt Boyce, for 17, leg before as he pushed defensively from the crease.
Leicestershire ably regrouped with their captain leading from the front. The Australian left-hander - who is England qualified through residency - featured in a third-wicket stand worth 118 in 29.1 overs in tandem with Ned Eckersley. The pair both reached half-centuries and took full toll of some wayward and wasteful Kent bowling, Eckersley sailing effortlessly from 12 through to a 74-ball 50.
Cosgrove, who might have gone for 48 had Coles held on to a regulation slip chance off the bowling of Darren Stevens, went to his 50 from only 66 balls and with seven balls to ease his side comfortably in at tea on 141 for 2. The partnership ended soon after the restart when Coles swapped to the Pavilion End to trap Eckersley leg before for 67 with a full-length offcutter.
Cosgrove ploughed on thereafter, reaching three figures from 121 balls, with 11 fours and a straight six back over the head of Stevens the bowler. Former Worcestershire batsman Neil Pinner piled on the agony for Kent, the basement side in Division Two, by scoring Leicestershire's third 50 of the afternoon from 61 deliveries.
Pinner also helped post a century stand with Cosgrove but their stand partnership ended at 115 when Cosgrove danced down the pitch and wastefully lofted a catch to substitute fielder Matt Hunn, stationed on the ropes at long-off.
Cosgrove sidled off with 113 to his name, scored in a shade over three hours, leaving Pinner and first-class debutant Lewis Hill, standing in for Ireland's wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien, to try and bat out the final 13 overs of the day.
Coles returned for a fourth spell to claim a fourth scalp when Pinner sparred outside off stump at a lifting delivery to edge through to his Kent counterpart Sam Billings for 68. Coles, who rejoined Kent in March after his release by Hampshire, finished the day with 4 for 68.
Coles, who dipped his weary frame into an ice bath before facing the media afterwards, said: "It wasn't the best day at the office for our boys today. We needed to attack the top of off stump far more and just didn't hit the right areas during the course of the day. We need to collect our thoughts overnight and come back tomorrow and finish the job with as little damage as possible in terms of runs conceded.''
Pinner, one of three Leicestershire batsmen to pass 50, admitted the visitors would also have bowled given the opportunity: "We would have bowled first too because we felt if this pitch was going to do anything it would be early on with the new ball. As it turned out we've come out of the day pretty well.
"Coles ran in hard at us and got a couple to bounce, so we're hoping our seamers can do the same on day two.''
"Mark batted with great intent throughout the day, as he normally does when he gets in. He put his boundaries away, really put the pressure on their bowlers and took the pressure off me. I could stand, watch and enjoy it because there was no pressure on me to score quickly once I did get the strike."