Headley opens with hat-trick as Derbyshire falter

Kent 445 & 30-2 Derbyshire 292
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The Independent Online
Dean Headley added another chapter to his illustrious family history yesterday by achieving the first hat-trick of his career. Moreover, he did it in his first over, which is not an everyday occurrence, and his career-best eight for 98 for Kent had Derbyshire contemplating the possibility of following on for much of another eventful day.

Despite a revival that produced no fewer than 221 runs and four wickets in the afternoon session alone, Derbyshire failed by four runs to achieve the required figure, though in the end Kent preferred to bat again, possibly feeling that the bounce on this pitch was likely to become less and less reliable.

As ever, when a pitch has pace and bounce, there was always something happening. Of the day's 17 victims, 14 were caught behind or close to the bat. Thrust into the midst of all that was David Fulton, who deputised as wicketkeeper when Steve Marsh broke his left index finger fending off a ball from Devon Malcolm. Phil DeFreitas and Malcolm cleaned up the last five wickets for 55 runs with the aid of the new ball.

Though at 6ft 2in Fulton does not have the traditional build of a wicketkeeper, at least on this pitch he did not have to grovel around his ankles too much. His four victims included the first two of Headley's hat-trick, but Kent's decision to bat again left him facing a pair, which he duly bagged, caught behind off Malcolm.

Headley's return to full fitness after missing the start to the season ought to interest the England selectors, not least because he is no doubt fresher now than most fast bowlers are at this time of year. He removed Kim Barnett and Chris Adams with perfectly pitched outswingers.

Dean Jones shouldered arms to the next ball, expecting something similar, but it nipped back and did not bounce much, leaving him lbw. From 22 for four, Derbyshire put the loose balls away with vigour, assisted by several lapses in the field.