County Championship: Essex bowl out Kent for 182 to take control

Simon Harmer
Essex spinner Simon Harmer found plenty of turn on day two
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day two):
Essex 313: Cook 125, Bopara 61; Milnes 4-61
Kent 182: Bell-Drummond 28; Siddle 3-29, Harmer 3-72
Essex (6 pts) lead Kent (3 pts) by 131 runs

Essex took control of their County Championship game against Kent on day two with a fine bowling performance.

The hosts lost their final two wickets quickly in the morning session at Chelmsford to be bowled out for 313.

Kent's top order were all dismissed after getting starts, including England's Joe Denly for 20.

They slumped to 137-9 before a last-wicket stand of 45 between Matt Milnes and Imran Qayyum helped them to 182 all out and avoid the follow-on.

Milnes was eventually bowled by Sam Cook for 23 in what proved to be the final over of the day, but only after frustrating Essex for 18 overs with number 11 Qayyum.

It was an otherwise excellent showing by the fast bowlers and meant Essex's first-innings batting collapse - which saw their final seven wickets fall for 38 - is unlikely to result in defeat.

Cook, Jamie Porter and the impressive Peter Siddle (3-29) all bowled tight spells, conceding less than two runs an over, while spinner Simon Harmer found plenty of turn to finish with 3-72.

It was that extra spin which bamboozled opener Zak Crawley and Wiaan Mulder, who were both caught at leg slip, while Denly looped a catch off his pad to the wicketkeeper.

Daniel Bell-Drummond crawled his way to a painstaking 28 off 82 balls before he nicked Cook behind and finished as the innings' top scorer.

Essex will start their second innings with a lead of 131.

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