County Championship: Darren Stevens gives Kent control

Darren Stevens
Darren Stevens has taken 49 wickets in County Championship Division Two this season
LV= County Championship Division Two, Tunbridge Wells (close, day one)
Essex 260: Westley 77, ten Doeschate 54; Stevens 4-37, Haggett 3-54
Kent 68-0: Bell-Drummond 46 not out
Kent trail by 192 runs
Essex 2pts Kent 3pts
Match scorecard

Seamer Darren Stevens claimed 4-37 as Kent took firm control against Kent on day one at Tunbridge Wells.

Tom Westley (77) and Ravi Bopara (42) aided a visitors' recovery from 38-2 that was continued by all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate's composed 54.

But Essex lost their last five wickets for 20 runs in the final session to be dismissed for 260 as Stevens and Calum Haggett (3-54) ran through the tail.

Daniel Bell-Drummond (46no) and Rob Key (19no) took Kent to 68-0 by the close.

Stevens' four victims - Bopara, ten Doeschate, James Foster and Jamie Porter - were all edges behind as he took his wicket tally in four-day cricket for the season to 49, at an average of 19.04.

He then watched Bell-Drummond, who has two County Championship centuries to his credit this season, blast 10 fours at quicker than a run a ball to leave Kent 192 runs in arrears with all 10 wickets still intact.

Kent bowler Darren Stevens:

"It was good at the Pavilion End with the wind at my back. At my age, you need all the help you can, but at the Railway End it was that little bit tougher.

"It's on the slow side, the pitch, but if you stand the seam up, bowl in the right areas and play the patience game you've a good chance of getting wickets.

"They were two down at lunch, with Bopara and Westley looking comfortable, but we kept it tight and backed ourselves to bowl as many dot balls as we could and then await the rewards."