Fulton finds Somerset to his liking

Kent 381-4 v Somerset
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The Independent Online

Somerset discovered a thorn in the Garden of England yesterday in the person of David Fulton. The Kent opener, who had already scored a hundred against the West Country side earlier this season, was at it again at the start of Canterbury Week with his third century in all against the Cider Men.

There is an element of mathematical progression to the hundreds – each one has been bigger than the last. They have not been all sweetness and light, either. Last year there was some bad feeling when Somerset were convinced that their wicketkeeper Rob Turner had taken a perfectly good catch, but the batsman stood his ground and was given not out.

Yesterday there was more rancour between second-placed Somerset and third-placed Kent when Turner once more went up for a catch behind after Fulton attempted an upright paddle shot. Somerset reckoned contact was made, but once again he was given the benefit of the doubt. By then though he was well on the way to 150.

Fulton is a veritable run-machine – he was the first to reach 1,000 first class runs a fortnight ago and there is no sign of the flood abating. Once again he was aided out in the middle by Matthew Walker. This pair had already shared in stands of 212 and 149 this summer and yesterday they completed a kind of hat-trick.

They had come together in the 47th over, not long after Richard Johnson had set off for Nottingham to join up with the England squad, a departure which left Somerset's captain Jamie Cox having to rotate a weakened attack until the replacement Jamie Grove had completed his 200-mile cross-country journey.

Grove did so just before the close, too late to pull off any heroics, but just in time to witness the end of the 175-run stand, when the off-spinner Keith Dutch took a fine diving catch off his own bowling to send Walker back 19 runs short of his hundred. Fulton is still there, though, and moving ever closer to a double hundred.

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