De Silva doubles up

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The Independent Online

Aravinda de Silva, the Sri Lankan Test player, helped rewrite the Kent record books yesterday, scoring a superb unbeaten 243 as his side made 486 for 4 from 124 overs against Derbyshire on the first day of a Championship match at Maidstone.

He and Graham Cowdrey shared a fourth-wicket stand of 368 in 80 overs - the highest partnership by a Kent pair, beating the previous best of 366 by Simon Hinks and Neil Taylor against Middlesex at Canterbury four years ago.

De Silva was in prime form and, when he reached 145, he became the first player to score 1,000 championship runs this season.

It was his second double century in successive matches - it came off 227 balls including 34 fours and a six - and beat his own 225 against Nottinghamshire, the previous best individual effort this season.

In the West Country, two centuries and a hat-trick provided the highlights of an extraordinary opening day between Somerset and Young Australia at Taunton.

A total of 556 runs were scored - 410 of them in boundaries - with the tourists racing to 380 all out before tea and Somerset replying with 176 for 4. The hat-trick went to the unlikely figure of Marcus Trescothick, Somerset's England Under-19 captain and an occasional medium pacer, who was without a first-class wicket before this game.