KENT, assisted by winning a helpful toss not to mention a certain amount of self-destructive batting, established a platform from which to enhance their Championship challenge at Queen's Park yesterday on another day that illustrated that lively pitches invariably produce lively cricket.
The ball not only bounced but, in the hands of Kent's four medium to fast-medium bowlers, swung prodigiously for much of the day. Their only regret would be that they could not stop Karl Krikken organising a recovery from 133 for 7.
He restored some sanity to a batting performance which might have been different if the anchor man, Peter Bowler, had not fallen to perhaps the best ball of the day from Alan Igglesden, which opened him up, moved late and had him caught at slip.
Igglesden's modest two-wicket return gave no indication of how well he bowled. Elsewhere, Richard Ellison's first two victims were Kim Barnett, who was caught driving at a wide outswinger, and Chris Adams, who tried to savage a long hop, which should have persuaded him to send in his pools coupon in time for today's kick- off.
After that, Derbyshire found even more varied ways of getting out, with John Morris flummoxed by Mark Ealham's slower ball, Tim O'Gorman beaten by a swinging full toss, and Dominic Cork playing on, after which they compounded the crime by bowling and fielding with a fair amount of mediocrity.
By then, anyway, the ball moved about less, except when it was crashing to the boundary off the bats of Trevor Ward and Mark Benson, who put on 80 in 15 overs. Eventually Ward was bowled by Ole Mortensen as he played increasingly expansively, but a series of fielding lapses helped Kent on their way, as Ward reached 50 from only 67 balls.