County Championship round-up: Stevens spearheads Kent recovery after sticky start

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The Independent Online

Kent were rescued by the experienced Darren Stevens (127) and the South African Martin van Jaarsveld (103) in their Division One game against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. In a perilous position at 44 for 3, having lost captain Robert Key (21), Kent relied on the contrasting styles of the watchful Van Jaarsveld and the more expansive Stevens to reach 294 for 4.

Neither Chris Tremlett, who on Friday was called up to the England one-day squad to face New Zealand, nor Shane Bond were able to capitalise on the early wickets despite tidy spells.

At Whitgift, both Ian Blackwell and Justin Langer hit unbeaten centuries as Somerset reached 335 for 4. Earlier, the Surrey youngster Jade Dernbach had dismissed both openers, Neil Edwards (40) and Marcus Trescothick (30), in a spell of 2 for 8 in just six overs. Before that, Jon Batty made a resilient 58 to help Surrey to 326.

In Division Two, Simon Jones continued his rehabilitation with final figures of 4 for 14 in little more than four overs as he helped his Worcester side dismiss Essex for just 116 at New Road.

The Welshman, showing glimpses of the form which had helped England win the 2004 Ashes series before being sidelined by a procession of injuries, finished the Essex innings with two wickets from his only two deliveries of the day.

Worcester capitalised, ending the day on 228 for 5, aided by Daryl Mitchell (70) and Ben Smith (71), for a lead of 288.

Hylton Ackerman hit a measured century to help Leicestershire to 390 against Glamorgan at Grace Road. The South African hit 164 before being bowled by Harrison. In reply the visitors were struggling on 99 for 6.

At Gloucester, Chris Taylor made 104 in Gloucestershire's first-innings total of 420, James Anyon taking four wickets. Warwickshire reached 151 for 4, Jim Troughton and Ian Westwood making half-centuries.

Middlesex recovered from 60 for 5 to 262 all out at, helped by Ed Joyce (58) and Ben Scott (66), against Derbyshire at Lords.

At Northampton, New Zealand impressed before the Third Test starting on Thursday with a confident bowling display against Northamptonshire. Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 42 before Niall O'Brien (60) and Johann Louw (82) offered some resistance.