Stoneman puts Middlesex in charge
Stoneman puts Middlesex in charge

A century from Mark Stoneman put Middlesex in a dominant position at the end of day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship game with Kent at Canterbury. 

Stoneman hit 109 from 148 balls, with 16 fours, as the visitors reached 298 for six at stumps. Daniel Bell-Drummond took his first wickets of the season, claiming three for 37, but Kent already trail by 307, having earlier been dismissed for 138 in their first-innings, a deficit of nine.  

Tawanda Muyeye was the top scorer with an elegant 30, while Ethan Bamber took three for 36 and Martin Andersson three for 44. 

Kent began day two on 82 for four, trailing by 65 and Ollie Robinson added just three to his overnight score when Bamber splayed his stumps, bowling him for 14. Night-watchman Matt Milnes then made 16 before pulling Andersson to Luke Hollman, who took a tumbling catch at square leg. 

Darren Stevens hit a single boundary before he was bowled by Bamber for four and Toby Roland-Jones sent Marcus O’Riordan’s leg stump flying for a 15-ball duck. Grant Stewart was lbw to the next delivery, but Roland-Jones was made to wait to for the hat-trick ball because Muyeye was out in the next over, caught behind off Andersson trying to flick the ball down the leg side. 

Middlesex reached 32 without loss at lunch, and although they lost Sam Robson for 19 when he edged Stevens to Robinson, Stoneman and Stevie Eskinazi put on 68 for the next wicket before the latter was lbw to Daniel Bell-Drummond for 31.  

Stoneman and Robbie White reached 185 for two at tea, but Kent struck early in the evening session when Milnes got White for 38, the ball looping off his bat to Jordan Cox at first slip. 

Stoneman eased his way to three figures with a glanced four to third man, but Middlesex suffered a middle order wobble when Max Holden left a ball from Milnes that bowled him for eight and Stoneman fell when he played on to Bell-Drummond.  

Bell-Drummond then had Andersson caught behind for 15 but John Simpson (21 not out) and Hollman took the lead past 300, the latter smashing O’Riordan for six over cow corner on his way to 29 not out. 

Middlesex’s John Simpson said: “If you’d have said we’d have a lead of 300 this morning we’d have bitten your hand off. Obviously we bowled well this morning and Mark Stoneman played an outstanding innings. To be 300 ahead is a fantastic position to be in. 

“There’s a bit of up and down in the wicket, a bit of seam in there. Once guys are in it’s going to be about finding ways of dotting them up and getting wickets. Mark produced an absolutely fantastic knock here today, he’s made it look far easier than a lot of us have. He’s fitted into the changing room seamlessly.”

Kent’s Jack Leaning said: “It didn’t quite go as we would have hoped this morning. We obviously lost a few wickets quickly and they bowled nicely and then batted nicely. We didn’t quite hit our straps with the ball. We’re a little bit frustrated as a group but sometimes that can happen and credit to Stoneman. Hopefully we can make use of those conditions in the morning and there’s no reason why we can’t go out and chase.” 

(On getting his county cap) “It was a surprise, I didn’t know at all to be honest. It’s obviously a very proud moment, I’ve really enjoyed my time down here at Kent so far and hopefully there’s plenty more of that to come. It felt the right decision (to move from Yorkshire) at the time. I felt that once I got into the environment and got to know the people and the way they worked I had a feeling that I was going to fit in straight away.”