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Dickson century not enough for Kent

PUBLISHED: 08:10 22 May 2019

Kent's Sean Dickson during day one of the Specsavers County Championship, Division One match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Kent's Sean Dickson during day one of the Specsavers County Championship, Division One match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

PA Wire/PA Images

Opening batsman Sean Dickson scored his ninth first-class century to help his side avoid the follow-on as Kent conceded a 145-run first innings lead after being dismissed for 294 in their Specsavers County Championship match with Surrey in Beckenham.

The 27-year-old South-Africa born player, who holds an English passport courtesy of his Kentish mother, dug in for five-and-a-half for 128 with 14 fours as the hosts conspired to lose their last nine wickets for 97 runs.

In the three overs through to stumps, Surrey reached 11 without loss in their second innings.

Requiring 289 runs to avoid the follow-on after Surrey posted 439 all out, Dickson and Zak Crawley contributed 128 either side of lunch - beating Kent's previous best opening stand for 2019 of 82, scored at Edgbaston in April.

Crawley's half-century came from 65 balls and with nine fours, while Dickson eased to the milestone from 85 balls and with eight boundaries.

Their serene progress came to a staggering halt half-an-hour after lunch when Crawley played across a full-length in-ducker from Rikki Clarke to lose his middle and off stumps.

Dickson joined forces with Daniel Bell-Drummond to add 69 inside 20 overs before Bell-Drummond chopped on when trying to cut a quicker delivery from Gareth Batty, Surrey's wily, veteran off-spinner.

Soon after tea, Dickson shimmied down the pitch to straight drive Batty over long-off to post his first championship ton of the summer from 187 balls and with 12 fours.

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Surrey wrestled the initiative back by taking four for 11 runs in the space of 33 balls, starting with two wickets in as many balls for Batty.

Heino Kuhn pushed well outside off to edge to the keeper than Ollie Robinson, fresh from last week's century against Yorkshire, nicked his first delivery to slip.

Wiaan Mulder departed for seven on his Kent debut. Aiming to leg against Sam Curran, Mulder edged an off-stump delivery to fourth slip where Will Jacks, diving to his left, clung on to a fine left-handed catch.

Kent's late afternoon demise continued when Alex Blake to-ended an ambitious push drive against Rikki Clarke to pick out Jacks in the cordon, who this time pouched a right-handed catch down by his shin.

Darren Stevens added a dozen to the cause and saw Kent to a second batting bonus point before playing across a straight one from Clarke to go leg before.

Curran's loosener with the second new ball then accounted for Dickson who edged an attempted leg-glance to Ben Foakes and end his 237-ball vigil.

With the follow-on just avoided, Matt Milnes drove loosely at Curran to be caught at slip then Harry Podmore turned a short one from Morkel to short leg as Kent, for the second week running, missed out on a batting point by single digits.

Batty, Curran and Clarke bagged three wickets apiece as Kent failed to make the most of a placid Beckenham pitch.

At the start of day two Surrey added 19 to their overnight score, only one of which went to Clarke who edges to slip when 12 runs short of a century.

Podmore finished with two for 79 and Mulder, on his championship debut, picked up four for 118 as Surrey collected maximum batting bonus points.

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