Symonds' skills put Lancashire on back foot

Kent 615 Lancashire 246-6
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The Independent Online

He has had brushes with sharks, hunts bush pigs - Australia's equivalent of wild boar - and is a professional fisherman, and yesterday Andrew Symonds could add villain and hero to his CV.

He has had brushes with sharks, hunts bush pigs - Australia's equivalent of wild boar - and is a professional fisherman, and yesterday Andrew Symonds could add villain and hero to his CV.

The 28-year-old Symonds dropped a catch, but then threatened to run through the Lancashire line-up single-handedly as Kent took control of events yesterday, having earlier racked up a record total at the Nevill Ground.

The fact that Kent, already hampered by the loss of Martin Saggers to England, were further handicapped when the left-arm spinner Min Patel had to leave the field early on with a hamstring strain, proved less significant thanks to Symonds.

At the start of Lancashire's reply, the opener Mark Chilton edged Mohammad Sami's third legitimate ball - fast, but not uncatchable - to the Australian all-rounder at second slip. It was the sort of thing that ordinarily would have been safely swallowed up in Symonds' massive mitts. Inexplicably, though, he spilled the chance.

Chilton, on five at the time, added a further 32 runs before finally falling. Appropriately the man who got him was Symonds, with a brilliant piece of fielding that saw him run out the batsman to snuff out a quick single.

That sparked a golden spell for his deceptively sharp medium pace. In the run-up to lunch he had Mal Loye caught behind after getting one to swing away late.

In his first two overs after lunch he found the edge of Stuart Law's bat, then followed that up by prising out Iain Sutcliffe.

Lancashire slipped further into the mire when David Stiff had Glen Chapple smartly taken at second slip, and Alec Swann then fell lbw to Alamgir Sheriyar in the next over.

Symonds then returned, this time bowling off-spinners to frustrate the batsmen further, until bad light drove them off prematurely.

Earlier, Michael Carberry and Matthew Walker rattled up 154 for Kent's fifth wicket and although neither batsman managed to reach three figures, they did help Kent to amass the highest total on this ground.

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