Benson has late check on fitness

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The Independent Online

Mark Benson, the Kent captain yesterday underwent a late fitness test before making a decision on whether to lead the side against Derbyshire in the Britannic Assurance County Championship match, starting at Maidstone today. Benson had been having intensive treatment on a badly sprained ankle.

However, Steve Marsh, the vice-captain and wicketkeeper, is poised to return after shrugging off a badly bruised knuckle.

The seam bowlers Dominic Cork and Devon Malcolm will be missing from the Derbyshire attack. Cork is in the England party for the third Test match at Edgbaston, while Malcolm has been rested.

The all-rounder Graham Rose and the off-spinner Jeremy Batty return to Somerset's team for the three-day match against Australia A, starting at Taunton. The county plan to rest Mushtaq Ahmed, who has bowled more than 500 overs this season, and Andy Hayhurst, the captain, is expected to rest a hand injury.

Meanwhile, Somerset's pace bowler Andrew Caddick, out for most of the season with a recurrence of a shin problem, is playing in the Second XI Championship game against Derbyshire at Derby, which started yesterday.