County Championship round-up: Gloucestershire's overseas batsmen put Kent to the sword


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The Independent Online

Batsman of the Day

Batting feats abounded as Gloucestershire put Kent to the sword at Bristol, where former New Zealand Test batsman Hamish Marshall made his 24th first-class hundred and South African-born wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick hit his second half-century of the match before picking up a hand injury. They were trumped, in terms of power hitting, by Benny Howell, whose unbeaten 63 off 37 balls included five sixes.

Gloucestershire's declaration set Kent a theoretical 582 to win. At 69 for 5 they were in danger of suffering the county's largest defeat in terms of runs, which they would avoid only of they hit 164 runs or more. As it happened, that possibility was avoided in the last over of the day, thanks to Ben Harmison and Sam Billings, who added 96 for the sixth wicket.

Bowler of the Day

Not much has gone right for champions Durham, so far, but at least their production line of bowling talent continues to yield promise. Mark Wood took five for 37 as Somerset were dismissed for 234 at Taunton. The 24-year-old had Johann Myburgh caught at first slip and yorked Craig Kieswetter today, picking up the last two tailenders in the space of three deliveries.

Wood earned an England A tour to Sri Lanka during the winter and was unfortunate, after taking five for 32 and one for 16 in his only appearance, to be forced home early because of a side strain.


Worcestershire expect to have off-spinner Saaed Ajmal available for another five Championship matches before he leaves for Pakistan's Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka, which might be enough time for them to clinch promotion, if he maintains form.

Ajmal added seven for 19 to his first-innings six for 75 as Worcestershire beat Essex by 72 runs to go top of the Second Division. His match figures were the best by a Worcestershire spinner since Martin Horton took 13 for 67 against Somerset in 1956.