Mohammad Aamer runs through Kent
Pakistanis 360 and 86 for 1 (Amin 42*, Alam 29*, Mahmood 1-27) lead Kent 259 (Denly 63, Goodman 59, Aamer 5-54) by 187 runs with nine wickets remaining
Pakistan's teenage pace sensation Mohammad Aamer made the most of ideal swing-bowling conditions in Canterbury to bag 5 for 54 as the tourists dismissed hosts Kent for 259 inside 69 overs. By stumps, Pakistan reached 86 for 1 in their second innings for an overall lead of 187, this after 18-year-old Aamer had taken a lead role in dismissing a rookie county side in under three-and-a-half hours.
Though Aamer has only eight Test caps to his name and 21-first-class appearances behind him, he exploited hot, humid conditions in the first two sessions to cause havoc amongst the home top-order batting. Bowling his slippery left-arm pace from the Nackington Road End and down the St Lawrence slope, Aamer seemingly swung the ball at will and also nipped it around off the seam to create headaches galore.
In the face of Pakistan's impressive new ball burst from Umar Gul in tandem with Aamer, Kent slid to 33 for 4 only to fight back with half-centuries from Joe Denly and James Goodman, who hit 59 on his first-class debut.
It helped Pakistan's cause that heavy rain fell over Kent an hour before the scheduled start, leading to a 30-minute delay and high humidity once the match got underway at 11am. Both Denly and night watchman Matt Coles were fortunate to survive the first five overs, riding their luck the pair somehow posted 31 before Coles pushed inside the line of an Aamer out-swinger to lose his off stump and spark the loss of four wickets for two runs in the space of 14 deliveries.
Two balls later Chris Piesley, another first-class debutant, pushed at one from Aamer that left him and brushed the outside edge low to second slip. He went without troubling the scorers. In the next over, Gul rushed one through Alex Blake's gate to knock back off stump, then Aamer nipped one back off the seam to hit the base of James Hockley's off stump as Kent lost four wickets for two runs in the space of 14 deliveries.
Kent re-grouped either side of lunch with a fifth-wicket stand worth 89 in 20 overs between Denly and Goodman. Denly, who edged through and over the slips during his fortuitous 77-ball stay, reached 50 from only 60 balls while Goodman followed him to the milestone from 111 balls and with five fours.
The tourists regained their grip on proceedings soon after lunch when Aamer cleaned up Denly with a fast, full one, then former Pakistan Test allrounder Azhar Mahmood went for 28, spooning a pull shot against Gul to deep square-leg.
The impressive Wahab Riaz, a muscular 'hit-the-deck' style of seamer who might well revel on English pitches, bowled Goodman off an inside edge then Aamer returned for a third spell to send back Paul Dixey to another catch in the cordon that completed his five-wicket haul.
Though Kent's tail wagged through Mark Lawson (31) and Robbie Joseph (18*), offspinner Shoaib Malik came on to polish the innings off with a tidy stint of 2 for 27 that helped secure a first innings lead of 101.