33rd Match, Canterbury, May 24 - 27, 2024, County Championship Division One
(fo) 394 & 101

Essex won by an innings and 96 runs


Jordan Cox doubles up on return to Canterbury

The ex-Kent batter struck 207, following up the 116 not out he scored last month against his former club

Jordan Cox on his way to a double century, Kent vs Essex, County Championship, Division One, Canterbury, May 24, 2024

Jordan Cox struck 21 fours and five sixes  •  Getty Images

Kent 118 for 4 (Compton 41, Critchley 2-19) trail Essex 591 for 7 dec (Cox 207, Snater 83*, Pepper 82, Elgar 77, Browne 65) by 473 runs
Jordan Cox hit a double hundred for on his return to Canterbury as Essex dominated on day two of their Vitality Championship game, declaring on 591 for 7 before they reduced Kent to 118 for 4 in reply. Cox made 207 on his first game back at the Spitfire Ground, in a 255-ball innings that included 21 fours and five sixes.
Shane Snater hit a career-best 83 not out and Michael Pepper made 82 before Matt Critchley took 2 for 19, including the key wicket of Kent's top scorer Ben Compton, who made 41. Joe Denly and nightwatcher Matt Parkinson were not out on four and 10 at stumps, with the hosts still trailing by 473.
With Essex on 287 for 4 overnight, both sides felt the first hour would be crucial and it unfolded exactly as the majority of the crowd feared it would. It quickly became obvious this was going to be exactly the sort of day Kent supporters have endured too often this season and the news that Wes Agar was unable to bowl after injuring his shoulder yesterday did nothing to improve morale.
Cox had averaged just 24.06 in 2023, his final season for Kent, but he was averaging 66.66 coming into this game. Having already scored a century in the fixture at Chelmsford, there was an air of inevitability about his march to three figures this time round.
There was polite applause when he reached the landmark with a cover-driven four off Parkinson and he celebrated by gyrating his hips like a middle-aged uncle who'd accidentally wandered into a rave.
Kent then enjoyed a spasm of hope when they took two wickets in nine balls. The breakthrough came when Pepper slashed at Arafat Bhuiyan and was caught by the sub fielder Jaydn Denly at slip.
Simon Harmer then holed out to Parkinson for six, caught at the second attempt by a juggling sub fielder Joe Denly on the deep cover boundary, only for Snater to come in and join Cox for the biggest partnership of the innings, taking Essex to 449 for 6 at lunch.
Cox took a single off Bhuiyan to reach 150, then hit the same bowler for successive sixes, before Snater reached 50 with a single off Denly. As Cox neared 200 Kent put every single fielder on the boundary, but he still found the backward square leg boundary to get to 199. The field duly came in and he drove Evison for a single, also bringing up Essex's biggest seventh wicket partnership against Kent, beating the 152 set by Nadheem Shahid and Derek Pringle in 1992.
When Cox was finally bowled by Marcus O'Riordan Essex immediately declared and as much as it must have hurt the home fans to see a homegrown talent torment them, he walked off to applause from every section of the ground.
Zak Crawley immediately went on the attack, but he'd made just 16 from 12 balls when he edged Sam Cook to Dean Elgar at first slip. Daniel Bell-Drummond was on 0 when he was dropped by Aaron Beard, but the fielder atoned when he strangled Bell-Drummond for 16 in the penultimate over before tea, leaving the hosts on 48 for two at the end of the session.
Cook limped off injured after pulling up during a run-up, and O'Riordan seemed to be coping well until he was lbw to Critchley for 30. The bowler celebrated the wicket with a Cristiano Ronaldo-like leap.
Ben Compton was perhaps unlucky to be lbw for 41, trying to sweep Critchley. This left Matt Parkinson to come in as the nightwatcher with over five overs left, a dangerous spell that he just about survived.

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County Championship Division One