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Daniel Bell-Drummond anchors Kent again after Haris Rauf's feisty new-ball burst

Opener's second hundred in as many games prevents Yorkshire for taking full control

ECB Reporters Network
Daniel Bell-Drummond steadied Kent with a half-century, Yorkshire vs Kent, LV= Insurance Championship, Division One, Headingley, April 28, 2022

Daniel Bell-Drummond steadied Kent with a half-century  •  Getty Images

Kent 270 for 6 (Bell-Drummond 109, Cox 68, Robinson 58, Rauf 3-52) vs Yorkshire
A second century in as many games for Daniel Bell-Drummond helped Kent recover from early strife to claim the opening day's honours in their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Yorkshire at Headingley.
This Division One clash features two counties dealing with injury issues, but it was the visitors who will be much the happier after being invited to bat and slipping to 20 for 3 following a blistering new-ball spell from Haris Rauf.
Kent closed on 270 for 6 from 81 overs, of which Bell-Drummond scored 109. Fifteen overs were lost through two stoppages for bad light.
The 28-year-old shared a partnership of 133 for the fourth wicket either side of lunch with Jordan Cox (68) after Pakistan overseas quick Rauf's early triple-strike included England opener Zak Crawley lbw for 4.
This was Yorkshire's first day of home cricket in 2022 after a winter of off-field disquiet, and it ended with Ollie Robinson a late departure for 58.
It did not yield the inroads Yorkshire would have hoped for after encouraging away performances in victory over Gloucestershire and a draw against Northamptonshire.
But, even though approximately 2,000 supporters had to brave the chill of an overcast late April day, it would have been a relief to see the likes of homegrown favourites Steve Patterson and Jordan Thompson bound into the crease.
The last time home debutant Rauf played on this ground, in a T20 international last year, he was smashed for six high over the newly named Howard Stand (named after the late Keith Howard, founder of the Emerald Group) by Liam Livingstone.
This was a much better experience as, bowling from the same end, he had Ben Compton (3) caught behind, Crawley lbw playing to leg and Jack Leaning lbw stuck on the crease for a two-ball duck against his former side. He finished with 3 for 52 from 11 overs.
Stand-in captain Leaning's departure in his first appearance of the season after a hamstring injury left Kent 20 for three inside 10 overs. But then came the Bell-Drummond led revival.
Kent came into this match on the back of a draw and two defeats, although Bell-Drummond scored a 149 in the second of those, against Hampshire last week.
They are without Jackson Bird (shoulder) and Darren Stevens (suspected hamstring), though have included South African overseas all-rounder George Linde for the first time following a groin injury.
Yorkshire are missing regular new ball pair Matthew Fisher (back) and Ben Coad (groin) amongst other absentees.
After Rauf's pulsating five-over opening burst, the hosts just weren't able to build pressure for long enough in conditions which provided less assistance than would have been expected before play.
Yorkshire delivered too many boundary balls under the floodlights, as Bell-Drummond hit 17 fours in 194 balls.
Either side of being dropped on 50 - by Adam Lyth at second slip off Patterson - two balls into the afternoon, Bell-Drummond drove, cut, whipped and flicked with aplomb.
He reached his fifty off 73 balls late in the morning and his 13th first-class century off 172 just before tea.
By that time, his fourth-wicket partnership with Cox had been broken by the off-spin of Dom Bess, who trapped the latter lbw (153 for 4).
Play was halted by bad light for almost an hour from 4.20pm, but on the resumption Bell-Drummond was ousted - caught at mid-on by Rauf off the seam of young all-rounder Matthew Revis as the score fell to 227 for 5 in the 72nd over.
Revis, awarded his second-team cap before play, broke a 74-run stand with Robinson, who fifty came up shortly afterwards off 94 balls.
He was then trapped lbw by the frugal Patterson almost immediately before play was halted for a second time at 6.15pm.

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