County Championship Division One

Somerset 171 & 243 beat Kent 109 & 131 by 74 runs

LEWIS Gregory starred as Somerset snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in their County Championship opener against Kent at Taunton.

The seamer took a brilliant 5-18 (off 18 overs) as the visitors were skittled for 131 in pursuit of 209 to win, after a pivotal last-wicket stand between George Bartlett and Jack Brooks had swung momentum back Somerset's way.

The hosts resumed on 171-7, a lead of 133, but Kent's tails were up when they quickly removed Craig Overton (28) and Josh Davey (2) for the addition of just 10 runs.

Bartlett, who had been dropped at second slip in the first over of the day, stayed put and brought up the first half-century of the match while Brooks hit out at the other end.

The Somerset debutant had made 35 from 31 balls when Bartlett fell for 63, ending a stand of 62 which had frustrated the visitors and given the home side's victory hopes a shot in the arm.

The tone for the reply was set from the very first ball, which Sean Dickson edged to Craig Overton at third slip from the bowling of Gregory.

Jack Brooks then claimed the prize scalp of Matt Renshaw, who failed to score to complete a miserable return to Taunton having made just seven in the first innings.

At this stage, Kent were 1-2 and three further wickets in the space of nine balls ruined the partial rebuilding work of Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley, who each fell either side of Heino Kuhn's duck.

It was 45-6 when Ollie Robinson fell to Gregory, whose figures at the time were 4-8, before Darren Stevens and Alex Blake put together a 37-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Their resistance was ended by Craig Overton, who had Blake caught behind, before Brooks returned to trap Harry Podmore in front to leave Kent eight wickets down and still 124 runs in arrears.

Gregory accounted for Matthew Milnes to complete his five-fer, and Davey finished the job, having Mitchell Claydon snared by James Hildreth to secure a winning start for Somerset.