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Kent 223 for 9 (Coles 66, Haggett 54) lead Gloucestershire 193 by 30 runs
Calum Haggett hit his maiden first-class half-century to help Kent to a first-innings lead over Gloucestershire on the second day of the Championship match at Bristol.
The visitors looked in big trouble when slumping to 98 for 7 in reply to 193. But Haggett and Matt Coles then added 119 in 31 overs either side of tea to change the course of the game. By the time a third interruption by rain ended play with a possible 20 overs remaining, Kent were 223 for 9 and leading by a precious 30 in a match dominated by the seam bowlers.
Liam Norwell claimed 3 for 38 from 20 overs to take his tally of first-class wickets for the season to 31 and was well supported by David Payne, who ended the day with figures of 3 for 36 from 14 overs.
Both struck during a morning session that featured two rain breaks. Payne made the first breakthrough by having Joe Denly caught behind for 4 and Norwell followed up by removing Brendan Nash, caught in the slips by Chris Dent for 12, and Daniel Bell-Drummond, whose 26 proved the best contribution by any batsman in Kent's top six.
It was 71 for 4 at lunch, with Fabian Cowdrey having been pinned lbw by Kieran Noema-Barnett for 6, and the wickets continued to tumble at the start of the afternoon session.
The fourth ball after lunch saw Darren Stevens bowled off an inside edge by Craig Miles and it was 80 for 6 when skipper Sam Northeast was bowled by Norwell for 24. Sam Billings survived a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket off Payne when on 13 and looked to be in good form until frustration at being tied down appeared to get the better of him. He was caught behind for 16 advancing down the pitch to the same bowler.
That was as good as it got for Gloucestershire as left-handers Coles and Haggett played with increasing confidence and skill, making batting look easy for the first time.
Coles was the more aggressive and after tea had been taken at 183 for 7 he reached an attractive half-century off 65 balls, with four fours and a six. Taunton-born Haggett, who began his career down the M5 at Somerset, was more watchful in overtaking his previous best first-class score of 44, also made against Gloucestershire at Canterbury in 2013.
After Coles has been caught and bowled trying to pull the occasional left-arm spin of Dent, Haggett moved to 50 off 149 balls, with four fours. His valuable knock finally ended when he pushed at a wide ball from Payne and edged through to Gareth Roderick. Soon afterwards the skies darkened and a heavy downpour ended play for the day.
Denly first ton for three years as Kent coast home
Joe Denly's first century for three years helped Kent coast home against Gloucestershire at Bristol. In conjunction with Sam Northeast the pair saw their side to a target of 241 with eight wickets in hand.
Marshall and Jones give Gloucestershire a chance
Hamish Marshall and Geraint Jones saved the day for Gloucestershire and set up a potentially exciting fourth and final day at Bristol.
Haggett and Coles tip balance to Kent
Calum Haggett hit his maiden first-class half-century to help Kent to a first-innings lead over Gloucestershire on the second day of the Championship match at Bristol