Cricket: Lathwell ends his two-year wait

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MARK LATHWELL'S first hundred for two years was the highlight yesterday as Somerset reached 233 for 6 before bad light ended play nearly five overs early in the Britannic Assurance County Championship match against Kent at Canterbury.

Lathwell made 106 off 201 balls, including 17 fours, and shared a fourth- wicket stand of 164 with Michael Burns, who scored 69, as the pair helped improve their county's fortunes, having struggled to 65 for 3. Burns was dropped by Alan Wells at first slip on 43 before being bowled by Matthew Fleming, who had a part to play in four of the six dismissals.

Fleming began with two impressive catches to help remove Piran Holloway and Marcus Trescothick cheaply. He then defeated the captain Peter Bowler for 17, before coming back late in the day to remove Burns, as Somerset lost three wickets for only five runs just before the close.

Nixon McLean, the West Indies pace bowler, enabled Hampshire to make the most of a 95-minute session at the end of the first day against Worcestershire at New Road. The 25-year-old Windward Islander took 3 for 39 in six overs and the medium pacer John Stephenson claimed a fourth as the home side struggled to 80 for 4.

In McLean's second over, Abdul Hafeez was bowled when the ball came off a defensive bat and rolled back to dislodge the leg bail. McLean then produced one which kept low to trap Graeme Hick lbw for six.

McLean struck again with an excellent delivery to take out Philip Weston's off stump after the opener had made 22 in 30 balls. Vikram Solanki fell to a mistimed pull, giving Stephenson a return catch from only his fourth delivery.