County Championship: Lewis Gregory takes 6-32 as 22 wickets fall between Somerset & Kent

Lewis Gregory
Somerset's Lewis Gregory is the leading wicket-taker in Division One with 30
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day two):
Kent 139: Robinson 37; Gregory 6-32 & 24-2
Somerset 169: Banton 63; Podmore 3-37, Stewart 3-37, Milnes 3-39
Kent (3 pts) trail Somerset (3 pts) by six runs

All-rounder Lewis Gregory took a career-best 6-32 on a remarkable second day between Kent and Somerset that saw 22 wickets fall at Canterbury.

After day one was lost to rain, the hosts were quickly reduced to 45-5 before Gregory tore through the Kent lower-order to leave them 139 all out.

Somerset did not fare much better with the bat, however, making only 169 in reply, despite Tom Banton's 63.

Kent reached 24-2 before stumps, with Gregory again among the wickets.

The home team are still six runs behind and a positive result looks almost certain despite the opening day being completely wiped out by the weather.

Somerset seamer Jack Brooks set the tone for a wicket-laden day at the Spitfire Ground, taking 2-3 during a tricky five-over burst in the morning session.

But it was team-mate Gregory who again impressed most, continuing a fine start to 2019 that has seen him rise to the top of the Division One wicket-taking chart and regularly chip in with runs down the order.

Five Kent batsmen reached double figures but failed to kick on - and it was a similar tale for the visitors, barring Bantons's fine maiden Championship half-century.

The 20-year-old, who made 454 runs during an excellent One-Day Cup campaign, is playing just his fourth first-class match but showed great patience in his 119-ball innings.

Such was the flow of wickets throughout the day, Kent were still left with 12 overs to face before the close and, almost inevitably, they failed to make it through unscathed.

England batsman Joe Denly stubbornly resisted with one off 26 balls before eventually falling to Jamie Overton 13 deliveries before stumps, having made only four in the first innings.

Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory:

"It was fast-forward cricket. We just tried to hit the pitch hard, hit the seam and there was enough happening for wickets to tumble.

"With the weather that's been around over the last few days the pitch was slightly juicy and helping the bowlers and, if I'm honest, there was a little bit of ordinary batting in there as well.

"It was definitely a day for the bowlers, with some movement off the surface we tried to attack the stumps a little more than usual, they did too, hence the 10 lbws."

Kent's Grant Stewart:

"It was good to be back out there but, with the poor weather, it was always likely to be a tricky day for the batters - and so it proved.

"With 30 runs the difference in the first innings it's still likely to be a competitive game, so it'll be interesting to see how it unfolds over the next couple of days.

"Somerset are setting the benchmark so far this year. Their bowling has been good. If we can get a decent total, then a little scoreboard pressure might just help us knock them over for a second time."

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