Essex on top against Kent

PUBLISHED: 18:38 03 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:38 03 July 2016

Jamie Porter celebrates taking a wicket with Jaik Mickleburgh (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Jamie Porter celebrates taking a wicket with Jaik Mickleburgh (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Cook suffers disappointing late dismissal

Essex enjoyed a good start to the county championship clash with Division Two leaders Kent at Chelmsford.

Jamie Porter took three wickets as the visitors, who took over at the top of the table from Essex in midweek, were dismissed for 207 soon after tea.

And England Test captain Alastair Cook got to within one run of a half-century before falling to the penultimate ball of the day as Essex closed on 107-2.

Ryan ten Doeschate put the visitors into bat after winning the toss and the home side made an early breakthrough with the new ball as Graham Napier bowled Fabian Cowdrey with the score on 17.

Porter helped keep things tight and Ravi Bopara claimed a second wicket with only his third delivery, tempting Joe Denly to edge behind to James Foster and make it 31-2.

Sean Dickson edged Porter behind without addition to the total and the wicketkeeper took his third catch when Matt Quinn came into the attack and found the edge of Sam Northeast’s bat.

Bopara pinned Darren Stevens leg before to leave Kent 74-5, but they managed to reach lunch without any further loss, as Alex Blake found support from Adam Ball.

The afternoon session was still in its infancy when Porter claimed his second scalp as Ball found Jaik Mickleburgh at gully to make it 101-6.

But Blake went on to reach his half-century from 72 balls, with 10 fours, and shared a 56-run stand with Callum Jackson, who was pinned in front of his own stumps by ten Doeschate.

Porter knocked James Tredwell’s middle stump out of the ground to make it 163-8 and Dan Lawrence dismissed Kagiso Radaba with the Kent total on exactly 200, with Blake 11 runs short of an unbeaten century when Napier had last man Mitchell Claydon caught by Mickleburgh to end the innings on 207.

Cook, England’s highest run scorer in Test cricket with 10,176, made a watchful start for Essex in reply alongside South Woodford’s Nick Browne.

The pair scored just 17 runs in the first 10 overs and did not find the boundary until Cook hit Claydon for four towards the end of the 12th over.

Cook then hit three successive fours off the same bowler in the 19th over to bring up the half-century partnership and struck Claydon for his fifth four.

Browne, having made his way to 20 off 72 balls, finally sent Rabada to the boundary and then hit Tredwell for four in the next over.

But Browne perished soon after, caught by Northeast at mid-on attempting to pull Rabada for 33 to end an 84-run stand.

Tom Westley hit successive fours off Claydon to bring up the Essex hundred in the 32nd over, the penultimate over of the day, but Cook was then trapped leg before by Rabada one run short of his fifty with only one ball remaining.

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