sport

Ireland shines for Leicestershire

Anthony Ireland hit the first half-century of his career as Leicestershire finished day two 333 for nine against Kent in Division Two.

Kent looked in control of the contest when they had the visitors 198 for seven thanks in part to some excellent bowling from Darren Stevens, who ended the day on three for 46.

However, an 85-run partnership between Ireland and Jigar Naik, who finished on 41 not out, pulled Leicestershire back into the match ahead of day three.

Kent won the toss and decided to field on the first day but there was no action as the rain saw play abandoned.

Leicestershire began their innings positively as opener Matthew Boyce led the way with 68 alongside Greg Smith (24) and then Ned Eckersley (32).

However, Eckersley's dismissal off the bowling of Mitchell Claydon (one for 93) sparked a flurry of wickets.

Leicestershire lost four wickets four just 45 runs, with two of them - Angus Robson (15) and Ben Raine (6) - falling to spinner Adam Riley, who ended the day with figures of three for 52.

Niall O'Brien made a useful 32 before being caught lbw by Doug Bollinger (two for 100)

Rob Taylor steadied the ship for Leicestershire with a useful 20 before Naik's 41, which included five fours, began the visitors' revival.

Ireland then took centre stage as the 29-year-old smashed four sixes and two fours on his way to a half-century before eventually being caught by Ben Harmison off Riley.

Kent's frustrations continued until the end as Charlie Shreck put on another 18 before the umpires called stumps after 96 overs.

This was Leicestershire's first Championship match of the season after their opening game against Derbyshire was postponed.