Championship: Ben Compton, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley help Kent dominate Northants

Kent batter Ben Compton (right)celebrates scoring a century
Ben Compton (right) shared a partnership of 176 for the second wicket with Daniel Bell-Dummond (left)
LV= County Championship Division One, County Ground, Northampton (day one)
Kent 286-2: Compton 125*, Bell-Drummond 83, Crawley 62
Northamptonshire: Yet to bat
Kent (2 pts) lead Northamptonshire (0 pts) by 286 with eight wickets remaining
Match scorecard

Zak Crawley went some way to justifying his England Test call-up as he collected his highest County Championship score of the season.

Eyebrows were raised in some quarters when Kent batter Crawley was named in the squad to face New Zealand next month having averaged less than 20 in eight Championship innings in 2022.

But he impressed with a controlled 62, although it was opening partner Ben Compton who continued his fine form by creeping to his fourth century, and seventh score over 50, this season.

Compton ended the day unbeaten on 125, after a 176-run partnership with Daniel Bell-Drummond for the second wicket, as Kent reached 286-2 on a batter-friendly opening day.

All eyes were on Crawley after Ricardo Vasconcelos had put Kent in on a wicket which looked like and proved to be good for batting.

The first ball he faced was pulled forcefully to the boundary, and he edged his second ball just short of second slip before another four off his hips.

The all-action opening slowed into a more sedate pace as both Crawley and Compton left and defended the ball with great skill, albeit with little movement assisting the bowlers. Crawley was particularly patient outside his off stump, with his rare cover drives checked rather than flailed to the rope.

Crawley's half-century, his second of a disappointing campaign, came in 75 balls, with the opening duo putting on 93. Crawley edged Matthew Kelly behind when not committing to either a drive or defence just after lunch to give Northamptonshire hope of a profitable afternoon. That did not transpire.

Compton has been one of county cricket's finds of the season, having moved from Nottinghamshire. While the 28-year-old's style isn't aesthetically pleasing, his numbers are incredible and are a testament to his technique and mentality.

It took him 53 minutes to reach double figures at Wantage Road with his fifty coming in 131 deliveries.

There were moments of lucidity, namely a couple of cover drives and a pull which he thought had taken him to three figures. It quickly emerged the scorers had miscounted and he was forced to celebrate his century a second time, this time after a sweep shot.

Daniel Bell-Drummond had replaced Crawley and simply kept the runs steadily amassing in the afternoon, as Northamptonshire dreamed of the second new ball. Bell-Drummond reached his third fifty of the season, but the first time could not convert.

He was dropped on 77 by Emilio Gay at second slip as the second new ball offered more movement than the first, but he edged to first slip in the following over for 83. Kent suffered no further casualties as Jack Leaning and Compton remained resolute.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network.