County Championship: Essex progress against Kent halted by rain

Alastair Cook
Essex opener Alastair Cook was eight not out when rain brought an early close at Canterbury
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day two):
Kent 226: Bell-Drummond 55, Podmore 54*; S Cook 5-42, Amir 4-48
Essex 32-1
Essex (3 pts) trail Kent (1 pt) by 194 runs

Essex reached 32-1 by the end of day two at Canterbury, with their reply to Kent's 226 all out halted by rain.

Kent were 138-8 on the second morning, but Harry Podmore (54 not out) and Matt Milnes (31) earned them a bonus point.

Sam Cook ended with 5-42 and Pakistan's Mohammad Amir, who is set to retire from red-ball cricket, took 4-48.

Division One leaders Essex lost Nick Browne for six and bad weather forced an early finish with the visitors still 194 runs behind.

Alastair Cook and Tom Westley ended a day of several stoppages as Essex's unbeaten batsmen, and they will look to push their side towards a healthy lead with time having been lost to bad weather on each of the first two days.

The visitors would have hoped to wrap up Kent's first innings much quicker than they managed to, but the hosts' number nine and 10 added 65 for the ninth wicket to nudge their team to a competitive total.

Podmore and Milnes were two of only four Kent batsmen to reach double figures.

Sam Cook, 22, finished off the innings by having last man Mitchell Claydon caught at cover to register his fourth first-class five-wicket haul.

Essex's only loss in reply was opener Browne, the left-hander falling to a sharp catch at slip by Ollie Rayner off the bowling of Podmore.

Meanwhile, Kent pace bowler Adam Milne will be out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

The New Zealander is due to have surgery on the problem that kept him out of the squad for the county's previous two T20 Blast matches.

The 27-year-old has taken 10 wickets for Kent in nine T20 Blast outings so far for Kent, who are second in the South Group with three matches left to play.

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