|Bob Willis Trophy, Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence (day two):|
|Middlesex 123-6: White 36*, Robson 36; Klaassen 3-19, Stevens 2-34|
|Kent: Yet to bat|
|Kent 2 pts, Middlesex 0 pts|
Dutch international Fred Klaassen finished day two with 3-19 as Kent’s pace attack continued to trouble Middlesex at an overcast Canterbury.
Having lost 80.3 overs to bad light and showers on Saturday in their third South Group game, Middlesex batted throughout the morning to reach 91-4.
Rain returned three overs after lunch to wash out another 46 overs.
But they returned in the final session for Middlesex to reach on 123-6, having so far used up 61.5 overs.
Middlesex struggled to cope with Sussex-born left-armer Klaassen’s seven-over stint down the Nackington Road slope after second-wicket partners Sam Robson and Stevie Eskinazi had found runs hard to come by against Kent’s frugal new-ball attack of Matt Milnes and Darren Stevens.
The visitors garnered only 10 runs in the opening half-hour before Eskinazi fished for a Stevens away-swinger to be caught behind one-handed to his right by wicketkeeper Oli Robinson.
Robson, having faced 86 balls for his 36 runs, then chipped a Klaassen delivery to Daniel Bell-Drummond at short midwicket to make it 54-3.
Seven overs later, Martin Andersson mistimed an attempted on-drive to another Klaassen in-swinger and clipped a firm return catch to the bowler.
The clouds returned three overs into the mid-session before a long rain break, after which umpires Nigel Llong and Neil Bainton decided play could re-start at 17:30 BST, with 16 overs left in the day.
Robbie White dug in to take his fifth-wicket stand to 40 with Jack Davies, who off-balance and working to leg across an in-swinger went lbw to 44-year-old Stevens, whose first wicket earlier had taken his overall career wicket tally to 800.
With the penultimate ball of the day Klaassen then ran one across left-hander John Simpson and found the outside edge for another spectacular tumbling catch by Robinson.
Kent fast bowler Fred Klaassen:
“Our red-ball bowlers did so well last season, with Darren Stevens, Harry Podmore and Matt all taking 50 wickets each, it’s not an easy line-up for me to break into.
“The rotation policy on the bowlers has allowed me to get a bit of an opportunity and I was happy to contribute.
“With Simon Cook [Kent’s bowling coach] coming in I’ve worked hard with the red ball. I lacked a bit of experience compared to the white ball, so it’s been good to work on those skills.”
Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:
“I’m feeling good and strong. At my age you get through your niggles as well as you can. I want to play every game if I can, including the 10 T20s.
Middlesex batsman Robbie White:
“We’re a bit behind the game but we fought hard for most of the day. It’s not easy and their bowlers got a good rest this afternoon. We were keen to get miles in their legs but it was just about switching on and off when the rain came.
“For a while this afternoon we thought we would be done for the day but the ground here drains really well, so we had to switch back on to the game situation.
“It was a bit of a grind. I had to battle out there for quite a few balls and it was nice to get in at the end unbeaten.”
Match report supplied by PA Media.