County Championship: Joe Denly century helps Kent prosper against Hampshire

Joe Denly
Joe Denly has made two County Championship centuries since being omitted from England's World Cup squad
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day two):
Hampshire 409-9 dec: Organ 100, Rossouw 92, Holland 60; Stevens 5-68
Kent 319-3: Denly 138*, Bell-Drummond 94
Hampshire (5 pts) lead Kent (5 pts) by 90 runs

Joe Denly enhanced his England Test credentials with an unbeaten 138 as Kent took advantage of a batsman-friendly pitch against Hampshire.

The Kent captain steered his side to 319-3 in reply to Hampshire's 409-9 declared as he and Daniel Bell-Drummond (94) added 206 for the third wicket.

Darren Stevens (5-68) earlier bagged his 23rd County Championship five-for after Hampshire had resumed on 340-6.

Kent still trail by 90 runs with seven wickets in hand going into day three.

Denly, who made 20 and 69 batting at three in England's last Test match against West Indies in February, has made two County Championship centuries since he was omitted from the final 15 for the World Cup.

The right-hander will hope to retain his place for England's four-day Test against Ireland at Lord's from 24 July.

After the loss of openers Sean Dickson and teenage debutant Jordan Cox had left Hampshire on 62-2, Denly's 195-ball stay at the crease has so far brought him 18 fours and a six.

Hampshire first team manager Adi Birrell:

"It was a very tough day. I don't think we were on it from the very start of the day and I was very disappointed we didn't get the bonus point for 400. We didn't show enough intent to get there.

"We were given a cricket lesson. If you are not quite on your game and you are playing against good players then you get punished.

"We wanted to get beyond 450 which would have made the game almost safe but we can still lose this game if we are not too careful.

"Having said that it is a similar pitch to last week and at the same stage Warwickshire were three down and things happened the next day.

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:

"Joe Denly is in good form. The hundred at Tunbridge Wells got him going for the summer and we all know how good a player he is. Fingers crossed he gets that big call-up.

"I told him he can bat all day if he wants. He'll need to start again in the morning to help put more runs on the board and build a nice lead.

"Some balls misbehave a little bit and they've got the ball to reverse so it might be a challenge but the pitch is placid.

"Early season I didn't get my rewards despite bowling nicely. I was frustrated but the last few weeks I have been doing the same and it has been going my way."

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