Coles and Stevens limit Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire 193 (Handscomb 69) v Kent
Peter Handscomb's third half-century in his last four LV=County Championship innings for Gloucestershire failed to stop Kent taking the upper hand on the opening day at Bristol.
The Australian scored 69 to provide some backbone to an otherwise flimsy batting effort after the home side had been put in on a day reduced to 67 overs by heavy rain, which wiped out the morning session.
The hosts were forced to make a late team change when Will Tavare reported sick. Ian Cockbain was called back from a Second XI Trophy game against Essex at Bishop Stortford to take his place. Kent elected to leave out Mitchell Claydon. Skipper Sam Northeast won the toss and, despite clearing skies, opted to unleash his seamers.
It looked a questionable decision when Gloucestershire openers Chris Dent and Gareth Roderick put on 36 by the 16th over with few alarms. But Dent was then caught at second slip for 11 by Coles off Haggett just when it seemed he had helped to see off the new ball.
Still the pitch offered no great threat and Gloucestershire had progressed to 61 in the 26th over when Roderick was deceived by an outswinger from the wily Stevens, edging through to Sam Billings and departing for 28.
It was 87 for 2 at tea, with both Cockbain and Handscomb unbeaten on 20. Cockbain added only four in the final session before having his off-stump clipped by a ball from Coles that appeared to nip off the seam.
Hamish Marshall soon followed for a duck, popping up a caught and bowled chance to Coles, and suddenly Gloucestershire were in trouble at 93 for 4. That became 129 for 5 when Geraint Jones, on 13, was bowled through the gate by Haggett pushing forward.
Handscomb reached a solid half-century off 85 balls, with 7 fours, but lost another partner with the score on 164 as Kieran Noema-Barnett fell leg before to Stevens. The following over from Coles saw Handscomb edge a catch to Billings, at which point the bowler had figures of 3 for 30, having delivered seven maidens in his 16.1 overs.
The clatter of wickets continued, with Stevens sending back Craig Miles to leave Gloucestershire 176 for 8. David Payne and Liam Norwell added 17 before the latter was caught behind off Thomas, who quickly followed up by removing Matt Taylor to end the day's play and leave the home side without a batting point.