Kent 550 for 5 (Bell-Drummond 271*, Muyeye 179) lead Northamptonshire 237 (Keogh 97, Agar 5-63) by 127 runs

Tawanda Muyeye and Daniel-Bell Drummond set batting milestones as Kent dominated on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with hosts Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Zimbabwean Muyeye cracked a stylish maiden first-class hundred complete with four huge sixes on his way to 179 while the more experienced Bell-Drummond inked in a new career-best of 271 not out, eclipsing his 206 not out against Loughborough University at Canterbury seven years ago. Bell-Drummond’s individual tally set a record for a Kent batsman at Wantage Road, beating Frank Wooley’s 217 back in 1926.

The pair added 318 for the second wicket as the visitors piled up 550 for 5 by stumps, a lead of 313.

On what was a tough day for a weary-looking Northamptonshire attack, Alex Russell and Ben Sanderson emerged from the onslaught with two wickets apiece.

Bell-Drummond set the tone, on-driving the first ball of the day back past the stumps for four, but it wasn’t long before Muyeye took centre-stage.

The 22-year-old, who originally arrived on these shores with his mother as an asylum seeker, showed his promise as a schoolboy at Eastbourne where he set records for the number of runs scored (1112) and sixes hit (56) in his first season.

Initially with Sussex, he signed for Kent in 2021, scoring 89 against Middlesex at the end of that season as the hosts chased down a target of 375 in the fourth innings.

Nevertheless, with England man Zak Crawley at the top of the order, his opportunities have been limited, so this was only his 13th first-class appearance, but there would be nothing unlucky about it.

Muyeye picked up where he’d left off on day one, using the long levers of his tall slender frame to showcase an elegant technique mixed with power, dismissing a short one from Sanderson to the mid-wicket boundary before despatching long hops from Jack White and Alex Russell to the square leg fence.

A single to deep cover took him beyond that previous career-best against Middlesex and there were no nervous 90s either, a huge six over mid-on taking him to the brink of that maiden hundred which duly came minutes later courtesy of another half-tracker pulled to the fence.

Off came the helmet amid a joyous celebration from a talented young player who’d played with the exuberance of someone enjoying a Sunday afternoon game in the park with his mates. He celebrated the milestone with a glorious straight six off White which raised the 200-stand.

Bell-Drummond was less exuberant, but continued his rich vein of form in June, a 12th four carrying him to three figures in a wicketless first session for the hosts.

The pair forged on after the interval, Muyeye plundering a third six, he’d only hit one in first-class cricket before today. The stand moved beyond 300 and the 2nd wicket record against Northamptonshire of 382 set by Sean Dickson and Joe Denly looked in sight before the youngster mishit Russell into the hands of Sanderson at cover.

Such was the charm with which he’d played, that his departure took some of the sunshine out of the cricket, Denly and Jack Leaning falling cheaply either side of the second new ball, the latter to a sharply spinning delivery from Rob Keogh which bowled him through the gate.

Bell-Drummond though picked up the mantle, a glorious straight drive taking him past his previous Championship-best of 166. His first Championship double hundred complete with 20 fours came soon after tea, and four through mid-wicket off White enabled him to chalk up the new career-best landmark.

Jordan Cox kept him company either side of tea with an ebullient 41 in a stand of 106 before being castled by the persevering Sanderson.

Bell-Drummond however batted through to stump and a triple century beckons on day three.


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