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Daniel Bell-Drummond ton consoles Kent in an all Oz tie

AFP
Published Jun 29, 2015, 3:18 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 5:45 pm IST
Visitors smell victory in Ashes tour-opener despite Englishman’s fine knock (127)
Daniel Bell-Drummond made a sparkling hundred for Kent but Australia were still closing in on victory in their Ashes tour-opener at Canterbury on Sunday. (Photo: Screengrab)
 Daniel Bell-Drummond made a sparkling hundred for Kent but Australia were still closing in on victory in their Ashes tour-opener at Canterbury on Sunday. (Photo: Screengrab)

Canterbury: Daniel Bell-Drummond made a sparkling hundred for Kent but Australia were still closing in on victory in their Ashes tour-opener at Canterbury on Sunday.

Almost 40 years to the day since England great Colin Cowdrey made a match winning 151 not out for Kent against Australia on the same St Lawrence ground, Bell Drummond delighted a new generation of fans with an innings of 127.

 

However, the 21-year-old's effort looked like being in a losing cause, with Kent just two wickets away from defeat at 237 for eight come tea on Sunday's fourth and final day.

Mitchell Claydon was nine not out and fellow tailender Matt Hunn two not out, with Kent, bottom of the Second Division of the County Championship, needing a further 313 runs to reach their improbable victory target of 550 after Australia had declared on their overnight 322 for four.

Bell-Drummond's innings was the cornerstone of Kent's total on Sunday, with the opener accelerating in style after getting to lunch on 66 not out.

 

He was especially severe on Fawad Ahmed, taking 18 off one over from the leg-spinner including a cut four, a straight-drive six, another cut boundary and a clip off his legs to the mid-wicket rope.

Bell-Drummond, long regarded as one of England's most promising young players, wasn't finished with Ahmed as a pull for four and two successive sixes, both fine drives, in three balls from the spinner saw him to a 92-ball hundred.

What was just the seventh first-class century of Bell Drummond's fledgling career contained 21 fours and three sixes.

He was eventually lbw to fast bowler Ryan Harris.

 

Not long afterwards, rain briefly halted play with Kent 203 for four.

But when the match resumed they lost four wickets for 30 runs in slumping to 233 for eight. 

Harris struck again to have Sam Bilings caught in the gully by Shaun Marsh.

Leg-spinner Steven Smith, now better known as the world's number-one ranked Test batsman, took two wickets for nine runs in two overs as Adam Ball and Ben Harmison, younger brother of Ashes-winner Stephen, both carelessly holed out.

Adam Riley was then well-caught in the slips by Shane Watson off fast bowler Mitchell Johnson for nought.

 

Bell-Drummond had fallen for a duck in the first innings.

Nevertheless, he looked in good touch Sunday, striking three fours in an over from Harris including a fine straight drive.

Fellow opener Joe Denly made a brisk 22 before he was bowled middle stump by first change Siddle.

Former England batsman Rob Key had anchored Kent's first innings 280 -- made in response to Australia's imposing 507 for eight declared -- with 87.

But Key could only manage 14 on Sunday before, for the second time in the match, he fell to Ahmed.

Mitchell Marsh, who made a quickfire century in Australia's second innings, continued to press his claim as a seam-bowling all-rounder in the side for the first Ashes Test at Cardiff on July 8, by having Kent captain Sam Northeast caught behind for 11.

 

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