James Fuller five-for reduces Kent to 95 all out

James Fuller five-for reduces Kent to 95 all out

Hampshire 89 for 0 (Middleton 39*, Weatherley 38*) trail Kent 95 (Muyeye 28, Fuller 5-21, Abbott 3-23) by six runs

James Fuller took 5 for 21 as Hampshire dominated the first day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury, skittling the hosts for just 95 before reaching 89 without loss at stumps.

Kyle Abbott also starred for the visitors, claiming 3 for 23 while Tawanda Muyeye was the hosts’ top scorer with 28, but Kent collapsed from 94 for 6, losing their last four wickets for a solitary run in the space of 15 balls.

Fletcha Middleton and Joe Weatherley were not out at stumps, on 39 and 38 respectively and the visitors trail by just six, with all 10 first-innings wickets remaining.

A pregnant skyline greeted the sides at the Spitfire Ground and to the surprise of precisely no one, Hampshire chose to bowl after winning the toss, cashing in almost immediately. Ben Compton went without scoring, edging Mohammad Abbas to Weatherley in the slips and Zak Crawley made just 7 before he was lbw to Keith Barker, for his 500th first-class wicket.

Muyeye, back in the side after scoring a glut of runs for the second XI, looked more at home, but after a typically attractive 28 he was lbw to Fuller.

Kent announced before the start of play that Sam Billings was playing as a specialist batter, with Jordan Cox keeping wicket. The official reason was to allow him to concentrate on his batting after a run of sub-optimal scores, but it did little to improve his luck. With rain already falling he was lbw to Fuller for 2, to the eighth delivery he faced.

With Kent floundering on 56 for 4, Cox emerged from the pavilion but the rain then became too heavy for the umpires to ignore and play didn’t resume until 3.58pm.

By then conditions had improved but batting didn’t appear any easier. Cox scratched out 12 before Fuller had him caught behind and Joey Evison was next, leaving a Fuller delivery that clipped the top of his off stump.

Jack Leaning at least offered some resistance, hanging around for 96 balls until Abbott had him caught by Liam Dawson at second slip for 24, but when he went the tail was wiped out.

Grant Stewart became Fuller’s fifth victim when he was caught behind for 14 and Hamid Qadri was out for a five-ball duck, driving Abbott to Barker at mid-on.

A dismal innings concluded when Wes Agar was caught by Ben Brown off Abbott for nought. Kent’s joyless day was encapsulated as Weatherley nicked Agar behind when he was on 29 and Cox failed to hang on to a routine chance.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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