Specsavers County Championship Division One, Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (day two):
Kent 226: Bell-Drummond 55, Podmore 54*; S Cook 5-42, Amir 4-48
Essex 32-1
Essex (3 pts) trail Kent (1 pt) by 194 runs
Scorecard

Essex reached 32-1 by the end of day two at Canterbury, with their reply to Kent’s 226 all out halted by rain.

Kent were 138-8 on the second morning, but Harry Podmore (54 not out) and Matt Milnes (31) earned them a bonus point.

Sam Cook ended with 5-42 and Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, who is set to retire from red-ball cricket, took 4-48.

Division One leaders Essex lost Nick Browne for six and bad weather forced an early finish with the visitors still 194 runs behind.

Alastair Cook and Tom Westley ended a day of several stoppages as Essex’s unbeaten batsmen, and they will look to push their side towards a healthy lead with time having been lost to bad weather on each of the first two days.

The visitors would have hoped to wrap up Kent’s first innings much quicker than they managed to, but the hosts’ number nine and 10 added 65 for the ninth wicket to nudge their team to a competitive total.

Podmore and Milnes were two of only four Kent batsmen to reach double figures.

Sam Cook, 22, finished off the innings by having last man Mitchell Claydon caught at cover to register his fourth first-class five-wicket haul.

Essex’s only loss in reply was opener Browne, the left-hander falling to a sharp catch at slip by Ollie Rayner off the bowling of Podmore.

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