Wes Agar walks through Northants as Kent’s boss opening day

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By Webdesk

knows 110 for 1 (Muyeye 58*, Bell-Drummond 48*) course Northamptonshire 237 (Keogh 97, Agar 5-63) by 127 runs

Kent’s Australian international Wes Agar claimed the second five wicket haul of his first-class career to limit Northamptonshire to a modest 237. It came despite Rob Keogh leading a spirited retreat for the hosts with a fine 97 on the first day of this LV= Insurance The provincial championship game.

Tawanda Muyeye and Daniel Bell-Drummond took the positive route in response, sharing a confident attacking unbeaten partnership of 93 as Kent closed at 110 for 1 in 26 overs. The pair went over the line, Muyeye hit eight fours and a six of his 82 deliveries to date.

Keogh came painfully short for a second consecutive century against Kent this season, but did well to help his side recover after losing three early wickets to catches in the slip cordon. It brought déjà vu for Northamptonshire fans after similar battings collapsed this season, but Keogh’s 50-year partnership with Sam Whiteman and Saif Zaib began to rekindle momentum.

However, Agar found a miraculous swing, having already removed Whiteman and Ricardo Vasconcelos, and he eventually ended Keogh’s resistance after 147 balls and 13 fours, the first of three wickets in 11 balls for the Australian, including a double-wicket girl . Tom Taylor clubbed six boundaries before taking a third victim to Hamidullah Qadri.

Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat first on a used pitch in 30 degree temperatures. Agar was soon in the wickets column as he removed Vasconcelos without scoring in the fourth over. Left arm fast Arshdeep Singh picked up Emilio Gay nine balls later before counting on skipper Luke Procter.

Keogh picked up an unbeaten 116 from Kent in the opening game of the season and dived into their bowling again. He squared off Matt Quinn for four and greeted Qadri’s arrival with a similar shot before knocking him through the covers when the spinner came up short. He also cut powerfully through the ropes as Northamptonshire reached three figures before lunch.

In the meantime, Whiteman Agar authoritatively rode the ground for four and was particularly strong of his legs, sending Quinn into the back of the ropes. But with the lunchtime safety just four balls away, he lost concentration and flashed for an outside stump of Agar, while Leaning made an excellent tumbling catch, his third of the morning.

After lunch Keogh found a new partner in Zaib and they made 65 in 15 overs. Keogh continued to capitalize on the strike and backfoot strike, reaching his half-century with 72 balls. When Arshdeep tested him with a well-aimed bouncer, he gladly took that on too, hooking it comfortably for four.

Zaib became Qadri’s first wicket as he retired and was bowled trying to cut. The spinner struck again in his next over when Lewis McManus played down the wrong line and threw a fly ball to short leg.

Keogh became increasingly nervous in the 1990s. He survived an lbw whoop from Agar and offered a lead that fell just short of the slips. But even though he swept Qadri backwards for four to go to 97, Agar got his man next over as he was trapped lbw. Agar’s next over saw him bowl both Ben Sanderson and Jack White without scoring.

Taylor exchanged some lusty blows, drew Quinn for four and cut Agar on the ropes, before hitting two bounds from Qadri. However, his attempt to give Northamptonshire a rare batting bonus ended when he was caught out at Qadri.

When Kent batted, Sanderson struck early to beat Ben Compton’s defense and hit the stumps. Muyeye looked confident, powerfully cut a short ball from Sanderson for four and played a superb cover drive from Taylor to the ropes. His timing was exemplary, but he played a rare foul shot when he hit an attempted hook over the edge, dropping the ball just in front of the fielder.

He soon found the boundary again, punished successive short balls from Taylor, contemptuously pushing them away to the ropes and hit Keogh high over deep midwicket for six to retrieve his 69-ball half-century.

Bell-Drummond also timed the ball well, grounding White and cutting it squarely before playing the same bowler through midwicket for four to take Muyeye’s fifty partnership to 93 balls.

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